Glossary


Results for Letter G

Garagiste: A micro-négociant specializing in very limited-production wines, often known as "vins de garage," or garage wines, because their production size is such that they could be made in a garage. The movement began on Bordeaux's Right Bank in St.-Emilion with Châteaus Le Pin and Valandraud, but the term is now often applied to micro-négociants the world over.

Garrigue: Low-growing shrubbery on the limestone hills of the Mediterranean coast. As a wine descriptor, garrigue refers to the aroma of the bushy, fragrant plants that grow wild in southern France, such as juniper, thyme, rosemary and lavender.

Gelatin: The same active gel found in Jell-O, this animal product is used in the fining process to bind with excess tannins so that they may be removed during filtration.

Generic: Lower-quality blends with names like "Mountain White" that are frequently made from inexpensive varieties. New World wines using place names such as Chablis or Burgundy as generic terms have largely disappeared thanks to international trade agreements; understandably, wine producers in those places do not appreciate the use of their name on wines from other areas that may be made from different grape varieties or according to different standards.

Glycerin: audio-icon Produced during fermentation, glycerin contributes to the wine’s body.

Goüt de Terroir: audio-icon French for "the taste of terroir," meaning the unique characteristics imparted by a specific site.

Graceful: Describes a wine that is harmonious and pleasing in a subtle way.

Grafting: Uniting two plants so they grow as one. Most often used to join phylloxera-resistant rootstock with vitis vinifera buds that will bear fruit.

Gran Reserva: Gran Reserva, the highest level of Spain’s quality categories, is only made in the best vintages. This distinction requires reds to be aged at least five years with a minimum of two in oak.

Grand Cru: audio-icon French, literally "great growth," or the top tier of vineyards and their wines in regions that use the term. For example, in Burgundy, these wines are one step above Premier Cru.

Grand Cru Classé: audio-icon French term used to categorize vineyards by quality. In Bordeaux’s Médoc region, for example, five levels of Grand Cru Classé were established in 1855.

Grand Vin: The premier cuvée made by a winery. Grand vin, or "great wine," is an unregulated term frequently used in Bordeaux to indicate that a wine is the best of multiple wines made at a given winery.

Grapey: Characterized by simple flavors and aromas associated with fresh table grapes; distinct from the more complex fruit flavors (currant, black cherry, fig or apricot) found in fine wines.

Grassy: A signature descriptor for Sauvignon Blanc and a pleasant one unless overbearing and pungent.

Gray Rot: Gray rot sets in when the fruit fungus Botrytis cinerea, as a result of persistent wet, humid conditions, overruns a crop and destroys the fruit. Fruit afflicted with gray rot appears to be covered in a carpet of gray fur.

Green: Tasting of unripe fruit. Wines made from unripe grapes will often possess this quality. Generally not considered a positive attribute but may be pleasant in Riesling and Gewürztraminer.

Green Harvest: The trimming of unripe grapes to decrease crop yields, thereby improving the concentration of the remaining bunches.

Grip: A welcome firmness of texture, usually from tannin, which helps give definition to wines such as Cabernet and Port.

Grosses Gewächs (GG): A term of distinction used for dry, single-variety wines from Germany’s leading vineyards, known as Grosse Lage (equivalent to grand cru vineyards in France’s Burgundy region). These wines must be labeled with "GG," their grape variety and the name of the vineyard from which they are made. They must also meet several production requirements. For example, they cannot be made from harvests exceeding 50 hectoliters of grapes per hectare (approximately 2.5 acres), their grapes must be harvested by hand and they can only be made using traditional methods. The majority of these wines are Riesling, but other grapes are allowed as well, depending on the region. These include, but are not limited to, Pinot Noir (aka Spätburgunder), Silvaner and Chardonnay. GG whites are released onto the market on September 1, about one year after harvest; the reds are released about two years after harvest, also on September 1, and must be aged for at least 12 months in oak barrels.

Grown, Produced and Bottled: Means the winery handled each aspect of wine growing.

Guyot Pruning: A vine training system named for French agronomist Dr. Jules Guyot, who promoted it in the 19th century. In this system, the vine’s oldest canes (branches that are generally between one and three years old) and the majority of its younger canes are cut in winter, leaving only one or two designated canes for bud growth. Growing directly from the vine’s trunk, each surviving cane is left with a spur (a stub left by a cut cane) at its base, which will eventually become the next year’s designated cane. Appellation laws may dictate the length of these canes or the number of buds they can bear. Because it can help protect vines from frost damage, Guyot training is especially popular in cooler regions, including Burgundy and Champagne. Guyot training is also used to reduce yields and potentially limit the development of disease.