Wine myths: hybrids make poor wines

In the previous issue of the Brief. we wrote about myths in the wine world. Some of our readers have contacted us with comments. Among others, William H. Shoemaker, retired horticulturist from the University of Illinois. He wants to add the myth “wines from hybrids are inferior”. He adds: “While they may not reach the echelons of quality reached by the best burgundies or bordeauxs, wines from hybrid grapes can be very good. I predict they will continue to improve, bringing with them traits for sustainability that vinifera varieties do not have.”

Hybrids are crossings between Vitis vinifera, the European vine, and various American Vitis. The aim is to produce varieties that are e.g. resistant to cold or resistant to certain diseases, especially fungal diseases. For example, in Sweden, England and Canada, rondo, vidal, seyval blanc and regent, all hybrids, are used. It is easy to see the benefit of grape varieties that are resistant to fungal diseases, by far the biggest reason for spraying in the vineyard.

It is very possible that these grapes will be important in the future. Several hybrids have recently been allowed to be used in France. Now wine consumers – and wine producers – must overcome their scepticism.

Do you have any other suggestions for wine myths? Do tell! Send us an email.

A vine leaf affected by mildiou

A vine leaf affected by mildiou, copyright BKWine Photography

This post is also available in: Swedish

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