5 underrated grapes that make delicious wines.


Valdiguié is a red wine grape grown primarily in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, where it is generally known by the alias Gros Auxerrois. In California it has been known as Napa Gamay or Gamay 15. Until 1980 Napa Gamay was believed to be the Gamay of Beaujolais, but following genetic analysis the name 'Napa Gamay' has been banned from U.S. wine labels since January 1999. Confusingly, both the Pinot noir clone Gamay Beaujolais and 'Napa Gamay' could be labelled 'Gamay Beaujolais', a name banned on labels from April 2007.

Other synonyms include Valdiguer, Cahors, Jean-Pierrou at Sauzet, Quercy and Noir de Chartres.

Windgap makes an interesting red wine called "SOIF", which means thirst in French. It is a blend of Valdigué, Negroamaro, Syrah, Dolcetto and Mourvèdre. This is an unusual blend, but the result is a fresh, aromatic wine with similarities to a Cru Beaujolais. Spices, fresh red and black fruits with electric acidity.

Pax and Pam Mahle source from vineyards throughout California: from the limestone and granite soils of Chalone, to the shale and limestone blanketed hills of western Paso Robles, to the windy, cold Sonoma Coast. Many of their vineyards are planted along or are directly influenced by one wind gap or another. These geological breaks in the coastal hills funnel wind inland and strongly influence the growing and ripening of their grapes. It seemed only fitting that their name should celebrate the forces of nature that shape their wine. Wind Gap is now one of the bright stars in the New Califonia wine movement.



Ansonica or Inzolia is a white Italian wine grape planted primarily in western Sicily where it can be used to produce Marsala wine. The grape is noted for its nutty aroma. In Tuscany, the grape is known as Ansonica.[1] It is the chief (and potentially only) component of the Tuscan D.O.C. Ansonica Costa dell'Argentario, which is located on the extreme southern coast of Tuscany and on the island of Giglio.

Bibi Graetz makes his heartthrob white called "Bugia". The vineyards are located on the Isola del Giglio, a small island off the Tuscan coast. . 80-plus years in age, the vines from Bibi Graetz’s are planted predominantly  on sandy soils, derived from granite decay
FERMENTATION: Partly in stainless steel and partly in barriques
AGING: 15 months in 95% cement, 5% barriques

Bibi Graetz founded his winery in 2000 on the grounds of his family's home, Castello di Vincigliata which is located in the hills of Fiesole just north of Florence, Italy. The 7.4 acre vineyard that surrounds the Castello was planted by Bibi's parents in 1971. A graduate of the Academia dell'Arte in Florence, this artist-turned-winemaker began producing classic Tuscan varietals in the 1990's when the family's vineyard contracts began to expire. In collaboration with consulting winemaker Alberto Antonini, Bibi produced his first vintage in 2000 and the wines quickly gained critical acclaim. In 2006, Wine Spectator named Testamatta as its top Tuscan wine in and, “One of Tuscany's true cult wines.” 
Bibi's affinity for indigenous grape varietals — like Sangiovese, Ansonica, Colorino and Colore — is as well known as his often provocative wine names and labels. Sourcing old vine fruit from vineyards in Fiesole and the island of Giglio.



Carcajolo Nera (Carcajolu-Neru) is a true, native Corsican grape once planted widely in southern Corsica and recently abandoned to the point of near extinction. It is so rare, it is not even mentioned in Jancis Robinson's "Wine Grapes" book. With less than 5 ha planted in the world by a handful of dedicated Corsican producers like Domaine Comte Abbatucci, there is hope that more people will get to enjoy these wines. 

In the colorful, picturesque city of Ajaccio, capital of Corsica, you can’t get very far without seeing the name Abbatucci. There are streets, monuments and plazas that carry the name, which is normal given that General Jean-Charles Abbatucci from Ajaccio was a hero of the French Revolution and comrade in arms of another local hero, Napoléon Bonaparte. Step into a wine bar or a restaurant there, chances are these days they’ll pour you a glass of Domaine Abbatucci. The domaine is run by Jean-Charles Abbatucci, a direct descendant of the General, who has now become a local hero of another kind—for providing the local populace with its most sought-after libation. • Grapes are crushed by foot and macerate for 15 days

CN is Aged in 1/3 older 600-L demi-muids and 2/3 stainless tank for 8-10 months


The red grape variety native to Italy . It was in the 17th Century under the names Recardina or Recandina as to the best scoring varieties in the province of Treviso in Veneto mentioned. Through the Institute of Viticulture of Conegliano three varieties were in 2007 identified; these are Recantina a Pecolo Scuro (dark stalk), Recantina a Pecolo Rosso (red handle) and the previously recorded in the official register of varieties Recantina Forner (according to the winery, where it was found ). The latter provides a velvety red wine with black fruit flavors. It is not yet clear in which of the three (or perhaps all) it is the historical Recantina is (status 2013).

 Francesco Serafini and Antonello Vidotto purchased this historic estate in 1986 with an objective of crafting classic Bordeaux inspired wines from the varieties that have been cultivated in the dolomite foothills for centuries. Up until World War I when the vineyards were practically destroyed, the property had been cultivated for over a millennium by the monks belonging to the Abbey of Nervesa. Located within the hilly Montello and Colli Asolani DOC northwest of Treviso, the property’s rocky mineral rich soils with excellent drainage and proximity to the Piave River and the Canale del Bosco allow for an unusually long ripening time. 


Rolle or Vermentino is a light-skinned wine grape variety, primarily found in Italian wine. It is widely planted in Sardinia, in Liguria primarily under the name Pigato, to some extent in Corsica, in Piedmontunder the name Favorita, and in increasing amounts in Languedoc-Roussillon known as Rolle.


Dupéré-Barrera was born in 2000 from the common love of Emmanuelle Dupéré and Laurent Barrera for great wines and especially for the wines of southernFrance (Provence, Rhone and Languedoc).

They had the extraordinary opportunity to establish privileged relationships with very large growers in their region but also from Bordeaux andthe Loire Valley. They have drawn an obvious appeal for respect of the grapes, wines and adequacy for local wine & farm.

Their wine: Côtes de Provence Blanc “Nowat” :

• Low yields of 30 hl/ha

• Mostly Rolle, with equal portions of Ugni Blanc and Sémillion

• No electricity is used in the making of this wine from start to finish, hence “Nowat” (no-watt)

• All grapes are harvested by hand and pressed by hand

• Fermentation is natural and no additives are used

• No pumps are used to move the wine

• Juice from the press is racked into oak barrels for fermentation—barrels are divided between two-year old barrels and new (from the forest of Jupille)

• Wine ages on fine lees for 12-18 months, depending on the vintage