Josh Jambon: On the Importance of Grapes in Wine Making

Josh Jambon is highly-skilled business person who in his free time enjoys scotch and quality wine.

Grapes are the foundation of every wine. They dictate the structure of the wine and they are the foundation of everything that a winemaker will later do to the wine. The alcohol in your wine comes from grapes. The color of the wine comes from grapes. The taste largely depends on the variety of grapes, too.


Grape variety mans the fruit of a certain kind of grapevine. For example, a fruit of the Cabernet Sauvignon wine or a fruit of the Chardonnay vine.

There are over ten thousand of grape varieties in the world. It the wines from all these varieties were commercially available, you could drink a new kind of wine every day for over twenty-seven years!

However, most of the grape varieties are obscure grapes that aren’t a good base for a wine. Grape varieties differ from each other in all sorts of features and attributes. These differences can be divided into two categories: personality and performance. Personality factors are the traits of the fruit itself. Flavor is an example of a personality factor. Performance traits have to deal with how quickly the fruit grows, ripen and so on.

Skin color is the biggest distinction among grape varieties. Every variety is either white or red even though white grapes are yellow and not white, and red grapes are often called black.

Individual varieties differ from each other in the aroma, levels of acidity, thickness of skin and fruit size. For example, black grapes with thick skins contain more tannin that varieties with thin skins.

When grapes aren’t ripe, they contain little sugar and a lot of acids, which also holds true for any other fruit. As the ripening process progresses, grapes become sweeter and less acidic. Their flavors and aromas become more complex. Their skins start getting thinner and even the seeds become ripe.

Varieties of grapes that are particularly suitable for making wine are called noble grapes. They include Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Cabernet Sauvignon, says Josh Jambon.

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