Wine is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of grapes. Wine can be made from many fruits and plants that contain natural sugar. But the grape is nature's most suitable product for wine making. Grapes have enough natural sugar to ferment properly, and they contain the yeasts that begin the wine-making process when the juice is released.
   The species of grape called Vitis vinifera is the most widely cultivated wine grape. European, Australian, and South American grapes are of the vinifera group, as are the grapes grown in Cali­fornia. There are more than 8,000 varieties of vinifera grapes in the world, but only a few make outstanding wine. Important vinifera varieties include Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc.
Another species of grape used for wine, Vitis labrusca, is native to North America.

Wine-Producing Regions
France and Italy are the world's most abundant producers of wine. Among the most important French wine-producing regions are Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Cham­pagne. The best-known Italian wines are from Piedmont, Tuscany, and Veneto. Elsewhere in Europe, Germany produces mainly light, fruity white wines, while Spain is renowned for its sherry and Portugal for its port.
   The primary U.S. wine-producing region is California. Although wine is made in a number of other states, only California wines can be said to rival those of France. In South America, both Argentina and Chile export a large quantity of wine. Australia has a growing wine industry, producing wine of every style and quality.