You look down the wine aisles and see row after row of Chardonnay and Cabernet. You would think, logically, that one of these two grape varieties must be the most planted grape on the planet. Guess again!
While Chardonnay is the first or second most planted grape in the US, France, Australia and New Zealand, it is not the most planted grape in total area. This honor belongs to Airen. Yes, Airen, a grape you've probably never heard of! The second-most planted grape in the world is Trebbiano, a white grape used in France and Italy.
Trebbiano, another name for ugni blanc, is slightly behind Airen in land usage - in part because Trebbiano vines can be planted much more closely together than Airen. It therefore is thought to produce more actual wine than any other wine grape.
Trebbiano is commonly used as a base for brandy, but is also a typical table wine in many parts of France and Italy. It is also listed as an ingredient in Chianti, although fewer and fewer Chianti makers are using trebbiano in their blends because of its low quality.
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