Join Us & Get Wine 101 Course 75% Off

The 10 Most Popular Wines in the World

Written by Madeline Puckette

Coming up with a tidy list of the 10 most popular wines in the world is not an easy challenge! The last study on vineyards worldwide was conducted in 2011 by Kym Anderson’s team at the University of Adelaide. Needless to say, the world’s wine information is not exactly up-to-date.

Today, the team at Folly Enterprises Inc plans to deliver new data. But, it’s not quite ready. So in the meantime, here’s the data from 2011:

Most Popular Wines and Grape Varieties Planted in the World by Acres Data - Infographic by Wine Folly

Circle Infographic Chart of the Most Planted Grape Varieties in the World - Wine Folly

  1. Cabernet Sauvignon

    Red. This French-origin grape was first made famous by the wines of Bordeaux. Today, Cabernet Sauvignon grows all over the world, including several unexpected places such as Lebanon and China.

  2. Merlot

    Red. The “other” Bordeaux variety produces exceptional, age-worthy wines even if it is often overshadowed by Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot is known for its boisterous cherry fruit flavors and refined tannin texture.

  3. Airén

    White. One of the least-known of the prolific wine grapes of the world, Airén grows mostly in the Castilla-La Mancha region of Spain where vines are spread far apart to survive the arid high plains.

  4. Tempranillo

    Red. This is Spain’s most planted and highly-prized red variety. Wines range in style from rosé to red, but Tempranillo is perhaps most known by its two champion regions of Rioja and Ribera del Duero.

  5. Chardonnay

    White. The world’s favorite white wine originated in Burgundy, France, where wines were traditionally aged in oak barriques (barrels). The oak-aging makes Chardonnay one of the boldest styles of white wine in the world.

  6. Syrah

    Red. Syrah originated in the Northern Rhône of France and went on to become the most popular wine in Australia (where it’s called Shiraz).

  7. Garnacha

    Red. This is a lighter-colored red with high-toned aromas of red and black berries. For what the grape lacks in tannin it makes up for with zingy acidity and elevated alcohol. This grape blends exceptionally well with Syrah and Monastrell.

  8. Sauvignon Blanc

    White. Sauvignon means “savage” or “wild,” which describes the state of the wild white grape vines planted around Bordeaux and the Loire Valley of France. Sauvignon Blanc is being recognized as increasingly special, as it was recently identified to be the parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon.

  9. Trebbiano Toscano

    White. This is another lesser-known grape at the top of the list of Italian origin wines that’s mostly used in the production of Balsamic vinegar and French Brandy. In Cognac this grape is known as Ugni Blanc.

  10. Pinot Noir

    Red. A red wine that’s quickly rising in popularity around the world. Pinot Noir is loved for its brilliant red fruit flavors and floral notes. The grape is very finicky to grow and tends to prefer cooler climates such as those in Burgundy, France, Oregon, and New Zealand (among others).


Written byMadeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

Join Our Newsletter

Jumpstart your wine education and subscribe to the Wine Folly newsletter right now. Always awesome. Always free.

sign up free