Thanks for an interesting question! I've gathered some online info
that I think you'll find useful. Most sources say that the best choice
for those who seek resveratrol is pinot noir, particularly the pinot
noir varieties from cool, humid regions.
"Dr. [David] Sinclair says the public needs to know more about this
remarkable natural molecule and how to get more of it into their diet.
It could be as simple as drinking a 5-ounce glass of red wine,
preferably from pinot noir grapes grown in northern latitudes like New
York, Oregon and Washington, that generally yield more resveratrol
than other varieties...
Grape skins provide resveratrol, but not in an extracted form. Due to
processing, grape juice provides little resveratrol. Sun-dried raisins
also contain no resveratrol due to oxidation by sun rays. The same is
true for resveratrol pills which are widely marketed. Their
resveratrol content, extracted from the Giant Knotweed plant (also
called fo-ti in Asian cultures) for use in dietary supplements, is
nil. Sinclair has tested a number of brands of resveratrol pills and
their resveratrol content was zero. The resveratrol disappears soon
after exposure to air during encapsulation. For now, red wine is the
only reliable source of resveratrol. White wine has ten times less
Lew Rockwell: How Long Shall Humans Live? The Current Answer Is Found
in a Glass of Red Wine
"Seventy red wines submitted by New York wineries were analyzed for
resveratrol... New York Pinot Noir averaged the highest in resveratrol
of all wine types analyzed. Sixty-five percent of New York Pinot Noir
were above 10 micromolar and the average of the seventeen analyzed was
14 uM. New York Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc wines
averaged around 8 uM. Hybrid and American red table wines averaged 4
Forty wines from regions other than New York were analyzed. The
average resveratrol of New York wines of each wine style was higher
than from other growing regions.
Some white wines were submitted for analysis and some non New York
wines purchased for comparison. Most white wines are below 1
micromolar because resveratrol is found in grape skin."
Cornell University: RESVERATROL CONTENT IN GRAPEVINES
"In a study of hundreds of wines from around the globe, Cornell
researcher Leroy Creasy found the highest resveratrol levels in pinot
noir grapes grown in cooler, rainy places like the Finger Lakes region
of upstate New York and Oregon's Willamette Valley. In fact, the
highest resveratrol content found in a wine was in Vinifera's Fleur de
Pinot Noir, with four times as much as the nearest California pinot
noir tested... Long sown in France's cool Burgundy region, pinot noir
is considered a finicky grape to grow, in part because it is
susceptible to rot, which may be the reason it produces more
resveratrol than other grapes--up to 40 times as much resveratrol as
grapes such as merlot and cabernet sauvignon."
Vinifera Wine Cellars: A toast to lower cholesterol -- Red Wine
Not all red wines are alike or equal as far as the amount of
resveratrol they contain. In research carried out in the USA, red
wines from New York rated the Pinot Noirs (Pino Nwahs) to contain
twice more of these substances than Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernay Sow
vin yong), Merlot (Merlo), and Cabernet Franc. The specific wines and
vintages with very high level were the '97 Pinot Noir from Benton-Lane
Winery in Oregon and the '98 Noble Muscadine from Dennis Vineyards in
North Carolina. Large commercial wineries manipulate their wines more
and reduce the resveratrol and other antioxidants as a result; small
wineries utilizing the old European technique produce wines with
higher resveratrol. In general, wine produced in dry climates, may
have lower resveratrol level than from the same variety of grapes
grown in humid climates."
Malta Star: Red Wine And Your Heart
"Benton Lane Pinot Noir
USA Today recently named this wine one with the highest Resveratrol
levels... Known for its high levels of Resveratrol, a naturally
occuring chemical that research indicates may have beneficial effects
on humans by lowering cholesterol levels."
Northwest Wine: Benton Lane Pinot Noir
"On the health front, New York pinot noirs have been found to contain
the highest levels of resveratrol, which, according to a study by
David Sinclair of Harvard Medical School, increasingly looks like the
molecule in red wine that extends lifespan. French Burgundys and pinot
noirs from Australia also are rich in resveratrol, for reasons of soil
and climate; wouldn't you rather buy American? Cabernets from
California are a good source. But for resveratrol, New York pinot
noirs appear the ideal wines."
New Republic: WILL THE BUSH PRESCRIPTION DRUG PLAN COVER PINOT NOIR?
"Resveratrol, ... is unstable on exposure to the air and 'goes off
within a day of popping the cork.'
... Resveratrol is synthesized by plants in response to stress like
lack of nutrients and fungal infection. It exists in the skin of both
red and white grapes but is found in amounts 10 times as high in red
wine as in white because of the different manufacturing process.
According to 'The Oxford Companion to Wine,' pinot noir tends to have
high levels of the chemical, cabernet sauvignon lower levels. 'Wines
produced in cooler regions or areas with greater disease pressure such
as Burgundy and New York often have more resveratrol,' the book says,
whereas wines from drier climates like California or Australia have
Faughnan's Notes: Resveratrol (Red Wine), Olive Oil (Favones) --
medicine doesn't get any better than this.
Google search strategy:
Google Web Search: "highest in resveratrol"
Google Web search: "resveratrol" + "pinot noir"
I hope this helps. If anything is unclear, or if a link doesn't work
for you, please request clarification; I'll be glad to offer further
assistance before you rate my answer.