The best grapes come in different colors and shapes, which makes them mixed fruits. They have a refreshing and tangy taste, and they can be grown in different climates and regions around the world. Grapes are used for various purposes, whether as a healthy snack or to add flavor to cakes. There are more than 6,000 types of grapes grown worldwide, and they are cultivated in many countries, including Italy, France, Spain, and the United States, where they are produced in large quantities.
In addition to being eaten as a fruit, grapes are important for making wine and fruit juices. Different countries have their unique ways of growing and consuming grapes for winemaking. This is because the climate in each country affects the number of grapes they can produce and export.
Eating grapes has many benefits. They have antioxidants that help the body fight harmful substances that can cause conditions like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, or Alzheimer’s disease. Grapes also have potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. They have a low amount of sugar, which makes them a good option for people watching their diet. Moreover, grapes contain resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks by up to 50%!
Most Commonly Cultivated Grape Varieties In The World
Kyoho, which is grown on a large scale covering 365,000 hectares, is a type of table grape from Japan. It is famous for having big, juicy berries, which is why it is called “giant mountain grapes.”
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Known and respected all over the world, Cabernet Sauvignon comes from Bordeaux and is grown on 341,000 hectares of land worldwide. This type of grape is very important in winemaking because of its tannins, which give it strong and distinct flavors and make it age well.
The Sultana grape covers an area of 273,000 hectares, making it the third most commonly grown type of grape. However, it is not typically used for making wine. This white grape is seedless and is often dried to make raisins, which are a popular snack.
Like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot is important in creating excellent wine blends around the world. It is grown on 266,000 hectares of land. This type of grape produces wines that are flavorful, gentle, and refined, which appeal to wine lovers everywhere.
Tempranillo is the main grape used for making strong red wines in Spain. It is grown on a growing area of 231,000 hectares. Its name comes from the fact that it is harvested early compared to other grapes, which gives the resulting wines a good balance, refinement, and structure.
Grape Production: A Process of Time and Effort
Growing grapes requires a lot of effort and time. It can take up to four years for a grapevine to produce fruit. Grape farming is very important in many countries. There are different types of grapes like black, red, green, and white, which originally come from Europe. These grapes are mainly grown in cooler regions like France and Italy, where they grow well.
The weather is very important in deciding which types of grapes are suitable for different regions and how many can be harvested each year. Certain countries like China, India, Japan, South Korea, and Russia have a high demand for imported wine. However, because of their weather limitations, they cannot grow enough grapes themselves, so they have to depend on grapes from other countries.
Currently, grape farmers around the world produce more than 75 million metric tons of grapes every year. The total area of vineyards used for grape cultivation is over 18 million acres globally. Italy is the top producer, growing an impressive 8,307,514 metric tons of grapes annually. France and the United States are close behind, producing 6,740,004 and 6,206,228 metric tons respectively. Spain and China both exceed 5 million metric tons of grapes each year. Turkey contributes 3,763,544 metric tons, while Argentina, Iran, and Chile each yield over 2 million metric tons. South Africa consistently produces a solid output of 1,587,913 metric tons per year.
A large part of growing grapes is focused on making wine, and many countries on the list I mentioned earlier are major wine producers. In Europe, more than 60% of the wine consumed worldwide is consumed. Italy, Spain, and France are the top countries in selling wine to other nations. Together, these three countries are responsible for more than half of all the wine that is exported globally. Now, let’s take a look at some of the main countries from which these nations buy grapes!
Wine-Making Powerhouses In Europe
Italy has more than one million places where they grow fruits for making wine spread throughout its different areas. They have a long and interesting past of making wine that goes back hundreds of years. The ancient Romans were very important in starting the use of large-scale methods for making wine and making improvements in how barrels and bottles were made.
French types of grapes, which either come from France or became well-known because of French winemaking, include almost all the popular types of grapes used for making wine worldwide. Famous names like Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, and Syrah gained their reputation thanks to France. The French not only make a lot of wine but also enjoy drinking it. In 2014, they consumed almost 74,000 gallons of wine.
Thanks to its great weather conditions similar to those in the Mediterranean region, Spain is one of the top countries in the world for growing grapes. Every year, they produce around 120,000 to 140,000 metric tons of grapes that are mainly used for eating fresh.
GRAPE PRODUCTION IN THE AMERICAS
The United States is the third biggest producer of fruits in the world. They grow and provide nearly a million metric tons of grapes that people eat directly, which is about one-seventh of all the fruits produced in the country.
Argentina has become an important participant in the global wine market and is now the seventh-biggest producer of fruits in the world. They started growing grapevines in Santiago del Estero in 1557, and soon after, they expanded grape cultivation to nearby areas and eventually throughout the entire country.
While Chile is the ninth largest producer of grapes, it does well in selling table grapes to other countries. Every year, they ship more than 800,000 metric tons of fruits, mostly to markets in North America and Europe. In the middle of the 19th century, they started growing popular French types of grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Carmenère, and Franc in the region.
ASIA, AFRICA, AND THE MIDDLE EAST
China has become a big player in growing grapes. It has the second biggest area for growing grapes in the world, with almost two million acres of vineyards. Their focus is mainly on growing grapes for eating rather than making wine. They use these table fruits for people to eat within the country and also export them to Southeast Asia.
People in South Africa have been making wine since the middle of the 17th century. Most of their vineyards are located around Cape Town.
Iran And Turkey
Even though people in Turkey don’t drink a lot of wine and it’s not allowed in Iran, both countries are good at growing grapes because their climate is great for it. They produce large amounts of table grapes and raisins.