To compare the influence of cultivars on the production of aroma compounds and polyphenols, eight cherry varieties (six sweet and two sour) were fermented into cherry wines, and their compositions were analysed. Results showed that by headspace solid microextraction coupled to gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC-MS), a total of twenty-first aromatic compounds, mostly consisting of esters, acids, terpenoids and C13-norisoprenoids, were identified, and eleven polyphenols including five anthocyanins and six phenolic acids were quantified using HPLC. May Duck and Early Richmond wines contained significantly higher levels of phenolic acids (>42 mg L−1) that were associated with high contents of chlorogenic and neochlorogenic acids and also relatively high amounts of octanoic acid and β-damascenone (odour activity values ≥1000). Hongdeng, Zhifuhong and Bing wines were characterised by higher concentrations of anthocyanins (>41 mg L−1) and also relatively higher levels of isopentyl acetate. Lapins and Governer Wcod wines were distinguished by lower concentrations of polyphenols and relatively higher contents of ethyl 3-methylbutanoate.