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va·​ri·​e·​tal və-ˈrī-ə-tᵊl How to pronounce varietal (audio)
: of, relating to, or characterizing a variety
varietal names
also : being a variety in distinction from an individual or species
varietal corn
: of a varietal wine (see varietal entry 2 sense 1)
varietal grapes
varietal blends


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plural varietals
or varietal wine : a wine (such as merlot) bearing the name of the principal grape variety from which it is produced
Brothers Ross and Bill Spence established Matua in 1973 and were the first to bottle Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand. Today, the winery produces a range of varietals at varying price points.Alison Napjus
Zinfandel works as a stand-alone, 100-percent varietal wine and also lends itself to blending.James Laube
: a grape variety that is used to produce a varietal wine
The grape, which produces lush fruit flavors of boysenberry and blackberry, along with vibrant acidity, it is without question Argentina's lead varietal.James Molesworth

Examples of varietal in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
His wines are highly sought after and coveted by collectors and Rhône varietal enthusiasts alike. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 7 Mar. 2024 Excellent varietal purity and velvety, medium-full tannins. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Medium-bodied, there is good acidity and varietal character, medium weight tannins and a soft, pleasing finish. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Medium-bodied, this offers impressive freshness, good acidity; a clean, well-rounded finish and notable varietal character; there is impressive texture. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 Medium-full with excellent ripeness, there are medium-weight tannins, very good acidity and impressive varietal purity along with excellent complexity and harmony. Tom Hyland, Forbes, 19 Apr. 2023 Created to be enjoyed upon release, Post & Beam 2021 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon offers delightful cherry, raspberry, coffee, and leather flavors; the wine seamlessly unites tradition and innovation and showcases pure varietal expression. Robb Report Studio, Robb Report, 6 Nov. 2023 The same applies to improving varietal discovery, crop rotation, fertilization, and irrigation decisions. Susan Galer, Forbes, 28 Nov. 2023 Year-round cold temperatures create the perfect conditions for wines with intense acidity that let the varietal character shine through. Mike Desimone and Jeff Jenssen, Robb Report, 15 Nov. 2023
Yes and no: some are major varietals, but guests will notice different unknown regions. Liza B. Zimmerman, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Katz started from the ground up, cherry-picking the perfect swathes of land amid the resort’s 258 acres, and beginning in 2019, planting grape varietals including malbec, merlot, petit verdot, cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, and sauvignon blanc across 15.5 acres. Regan Stephens, Travel + Leisure, 3 Apr. 2024 Sandra's Rose is a blend of two red grapes, Petit Verdot and Montepulciano, and two white varietals, Vermentino and Petit Manseng. The Arizona Republic, 17 Mar. 2024 Not just drinking it - but the different varietals, the different styles of making wine, and the pairing of beautiful food with delicious wines. Noël Burgess, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 Focus Features Director Alexander Payne's Oscar-winning 2004 satirical road comedy Sideways singlehandedly made pinot noir the hot new varietal while arguably spurring a decline in sales of merlot. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, 25 Dec. 2023 Some of the wine varietals and regions that are selling well in their stores are cabernet sauvignon, sauvignon blanc, Bordeaux, Burgundy and French Champagne. Liz Thach, Forbes, 14 Feb. 2024 The highlight of this vineyard is to sample their portfolio of wines, which includes four Estate varietals from their favorite growers in California without having to make the trip out west. Staff Report, Hartford Courant, 17 Jan. 2024 With more than 30 wines by the bottle and roughly a dozen by the glass, Cosette’s menu focuses on European varietals from France, Austria, Italy and Spain, with a few labels from California as well. Stephanie Breijo, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'varietal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



variety + -al entry 1

First Known Use


1866, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1941, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of varietal was in 1866

Dictionary Entries Near varietal

Cite this Entry

“Varietal.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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