G

Garrafeira
A Portuguese red wine that has been aged for at least three years (two years in barrels and one year in bottles). If it is a white wine then the period is considerably shorter (six months in barrels and six months in bottles).
Garrigue
The aromas found in a wine that resemble those of spices (rosemary, marjoram) and flowers (lavender) from southern France.
Gelatin
A protein produced by partial hydrolysis of collagen extracted from the bones and skins of animals. It is applied to reduce astringency, some bitterness, and polymeric anthocyanins in red wines (being more effective on aged red wines than on young ones). It is very useful in reducing the harshness of pressed wine. Some care is needed so as to not strip all the wine flavor and character by over-fining. Gelatin can also clear cloudy wines that are difficult to clear with bentonite and is effective in reducing bitter after-taste in white wines.
Generoso
Italian word for generous. Used mainly to describe wines with a high level of alcohol.
Generous
A tasting term used mainly to describe wines with a high level of alcohol. Also, a wine that displays an ample range of aromas and flavors.
Geneva double curtain
The training system in which the vine canopy is divided in two curtains. Both trained to grow downward from high cordons.
Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter
The vector (an insect) for the spreading of Pierce’s Disease.
Glycerol
A by-product of the alcoholic fermentation (the higher the sugar content of the must, the more glycerol the yeast produces during fermentation). It adds viscosity to the wine.
Gobelet
“Goblet”, an ancient method of vine training that involves no wires or other type of support, and the result is a goblet shaped vine.
Graceful
A tasting description of a wine that is harmonious and pleasing.
Grafting
A technique in which the bud-producing part of a grapevine is attached to an existing root.
Gran Reserva
These Spanish wines are produced only in outstanding vintages. Red wines must be aged for at least five years (including some period in oak) prior to release. White and rose wines must be aged for at least four years (6 months in oak).
Grand Cru
“Great growth” in French. It has two meanings: 1) the status that refers to the classification of wines of the Bordeaux region (their second highest status, being “Premier Cru” the highest), 2) when referring to the location of a specific vineyard, the best sites (crus) are named “Grand Cru”, while the second best sites are named “Premier Cru”. I know it sounds confusing… but it really is!
Grand Vin
French for “great wine”. It refers to the best wine made by a winery.
Grande Marques
The expression commonly used to describe the top Champagne houses.
Grape
The fruit that grows on the vines of the family Vitaceae. They are used to produce wines through a fermentation process.
Grapey
A negative description for a wine that tastes “too much” like grapes.
Grappa
Italian brandy made from the pomace of grapes after it is pressed.
Grappolo
A bunch of grapes in Italian.
Grassy
A very common description for wines made from Sauvignon Blanc. Wines with vegetal aromas and flavors.
Green
Herbaceous. A tasting description for vegetal flavors and aromas in a wine. It can happen when the grapes didn’t have enough time to ripen when they are grown in a cool climate; however, it is very different from “grassy.”
Green harvest
(or green pruning). Bunches of grapes are removed from the vine to reduce yields. The remaining bunches will have a better chance of ripening fully, and a more concentrated wine will be produced.
Green pruning
(or green harvest). Bunches of grapes are removed from the vine to reduce yield. The remainder bunches will have a better chance of ripening fully, and a more concentrated wine will be produced.
Grenache
Garnacha in Spanish. One of the most extensively planted red grape varieties of the world.
Grey Rot
It is caused by Botrytis cinerea (the same fungus that causes the much more desirable “noble rot”). The difference here is that it grows on unripe grapes after long stretches of humid weather and results in the loss of the affected bunches.
Grip
A wine is said to have grip when it presents a sturdy structure.
Gyro pallet
A pallet-case containing 504 bottles. It is a machine that can rotate the bottles in all directions. Its biggest advantage verses the manual process is that it allows the wines to be riddled in very short cycles (one or two weeks).
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