Fun experimental feature: Variety Finder

I see a lot of people trying to find out what kinds of grape varieties are used to make particular appellations or specific wines. The natural way to form a query like this would be something like Chateauneuf varieties or La Conseillante varieties — and indeed, sometimes these kinds of queries work well, especially since Able Grape recognizes some obvious synonyms for varieties (“cultivars,” “varietals,” even “cépages” or “vitigni”). But often the answer doesn’t contain the word “varieties,” it just has a list of varieties, as in “Châteauneuf is made primarily from Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre.”

So to help with these kinds of queries, I’ve added a little experimental feature: if you look for varieties, Able Grape will bring up a query tip to ask if you want to match the names of any variety. So in the example above, you’d see Grenache, Syrah, and Mourvèdre highlighted right in the search result abstract.

The best way to explain is with a few examples. Try the following queries, and then use the search tip at the top of the screen to see the new feature. Note how the results, and the abstracts, change when you use the search tip:

  • Châteauneuf varieties (reminder: to see the feature, you MUST then click on the query tip at the top of the results page!).
  • Tignanello varieties (reminder: to see the feature, you MUST then click on the query tip at the top of the results page!).
  • La Conseillante varieties (reminder: to see the feature, you MUST then click on the query tip at the top of the results page!).
  • California varietal acreage (reminder: to see the feature, you MUST then click on the query tip at the top of the results page!).

The new feature isn’t perfect, because it will find any varieties mentioned, and some pages will mention varieties unrelated to the rest of the query, but it’s a new tool in your search toolbox, and can turn up results that would be unfindable any other way. I suggest always trying your searches both ways (with and without the query tip), because the two methods turn up different results. For finding official information about appellations, remember that the “official body” filter is your friend.

Let me know what you think!

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