With origin in Latin, the name "Caste" means "pure; without mixture".
Applied to wines, the term "species of wine" refers to a variety of grape trees whose morphological features and specific qualities are used to create individual wines that are unique in their characteristics.
To the group of characteristics given by the soil and climate to grape trees the French have given the name of "terroir". The caste can not be dissociated from the terroir, since each wine caste reacts differently to the conditions where it has been cultivated and that influences the final product, the wine.
There are between 10.000 and 20.000 wine castes around the world. However, only about 500 were isolated, cultivated and bred by humankind.
The most famous wine castes around the world have French origins, like Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. These are common throughout the world; and wines from these caste are made not just in France but in several parts of the world, like California, Australia and Chile. Other lesser-known wine castes, like the Portuguese Touriga Nacional, Loureiro and Alvarinho, tend to be created only in their place of origin, since these types of wine are more dependent on the specific conditions of the terroir.
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