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Tag Archives | vitis vinifera

Syrah grape bunch in Tuscany

Australia’s most popular grape varieties

Nowhere else is the dominance of a few grape varieties as big as in Australia. Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay account for almost 60% of the total vineyard area of 149,000 hectares. Syrah alone accounts for 28% of the planted vines. But perhaps a diversification is in sight. Both Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc are […]

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Chateau Pech-Redon, La Clape, Languedoc

Greek and Italian grapes in Languedoc

It gets warmer and drier in Languedoc, says Christophe Bousquet at Domaine Pech Redon in La Clape. This cannot completely be compensated for by irrigation. That’s why Christophe this summer is going to plant grape varieties that are used to an even warmer climate. He has chosen Nero d’Avola (!) from Sicily and the amazing […]

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Ripe grapes

The most popular grapes in South Africa

In South Africa, around 100 different grape varieties are grown on an area of approximately 117,000 hectares (table grapes not included). This is quite impressive, although of course many of the varieties are grown in very small quantities. The most planted variety in South Africa is still Chenin Blanc with 19,000 hectares. This is still […]

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Céline Gueguen with her scay vines (or chardonnay)

Sacy, a rare grape in northern Burgundy

Unusual grapes can pop-up when you least expect it. On one of our tours in Chablis in the spring, a little-known grape called sacy made an appearance during the tasting of Domaine Frédéric and Céline Gueguen. Of course, this was not a Chablis. Some Chablis producers, including Domaine Gueguen, also make wine outside the Chablis […]

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Marselan, recently planted vines

New grape varieties in France, some forgotten, some hybrids

Nine new grape varieties have been approved to be planted in the French vineyards. Five of them are old, almost extinct and forgotten grape varieties from the Southwest, from Gaillac, Fronton and other southwestern appellations: Bouysselet Blanc, Tardif, Verdanel Blanc, Gibert and Noual. The other four are so-called resistant grape varieties. These are new crosses […]

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Vineyard in Franschhoek with merlot at Rickety Bridge

The top-ten grape varieties in France

France has 806,000 hectares planted with vines. This area includes about 70,000 hectares used for Cognac. Three grape varieties take up one third of this area: Merlot (112,000 hectares), Ugni Blanc (82,000 hectares, which is used mainly for Cognac) and Grenache (81,000 hectares). After the top three follow Syrah (64,000), Chardonnay (51,000), Cabernet Sauvignon (48,000), […]

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A glass of South African brandy, Alchemy of Gold

Fungus resistant grape varieties tested in Cognac

Cognac has a long-term plan to reduce the spraying in the vineyards. Currently, four different hybrids are being tested in the vineyards. All four grape varieties have good resistance to both downy mildew and powdery mildew. They also have the qualities required for cognac production, namely high acidity and low sugar content. And, not least, […]

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A vine leaf affected by mildiou

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 […]

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The favourite grape in Napa is Cabernet Sauvignon

In Napa Valley they like Cabernet Sauvignon. The grape accounts for 40% of the Napa grape surface and 60% of the value of its wines. Now, says Chris Carpenter, cabernet specialist and winemaker, this dependence on Cabernet Sauvignon can be dangerous. Napa would be hit hard if a disease or a virus that affects that […]

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Grenache, rusty sign

Even better Grenache thanks to Rhône research

Grenache is one of the world’s most widely grown grape varieties. And one of our favourite grapes.It is found mainly in southern France and in Spain (Garnacha), but also in several other countries such as South Africa, Chile, and the United States. Everywhere there is a growing interest in the grape. It even has its […]

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The mother vine, the beginning of everything

Where do all the vines come from? In most cases they are purchased from nurseries. Some wine growers take cuttings from their own vineyard, but it is unusual. In France, nurseries have a total of 3564 hectares of mother plants or mother vines (vignes-mères), divided into 2002 hectares with rootstocks (porte-greffes) and 1562 hectares with […]

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Less spraying with resistant grape varieties

For more than a decade there has been research going on in France in order to obtain grape varieties that are resistant to the fungal diseases oidium and mildiou. The research organization INRA believe that these varieties will be able to come on the market in 2017. 36 different resistance crossings are already out in […]

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Champagne Roederer has its own nursery

Champagne Louis Roederer has, as one of the few wine producers in France, been approved as a “pepiniériste privé”, ie as a private nursery for vines. Roederer will now grow their own American root stocks. On these they will graft cuttings taken from their own vineyards. It is very unusual for wine producers to do […]

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The forgotten Catalonian grapes found by Torres

The large wine company Torres of Catalonia in Northern Spain continues its work with so-called forgotten grape varieties. Torres has been working on this project in Catalonia for 30 years now. One reason for the project is that they hope that some of these grapes will prove to be well suited for the future when […]

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A budding Batard-Montrachet vine

Chardonnay remains a popular grape

In the U.S., people drink more and more wine. In 20 years, from 1993 to 2013, the volume of wine that Americans are buying doubled. The average American spends USD 8.06 per bottle of wine. The domestic wines dominate. Wines from California has a 57% market share in terms of volume and 64% by value. […]

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Are old vines always better?

At what age is a vine at its best? When visiting wineries in New World countries you are sometimes surprised. The wine producers there talk about replanting a vineyard after only 20 years. It is considered old. While in France and elsewhere in Europe wine growers speak proudly of their 80-year-old plants and would not […]

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Save the old (unknown?) grape varieties

There are several hundred grape varieties that can be used by winemakers in different countries. But the major well known varieties are very dominant. 30 varieties account for about 70% of world wine production. The many lesser known grapes have to be content with sometimes only a few hectares. Is a wine more exciting and […]

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Grape growing and wine-grape varieties world-wide

If you are interested in wine, grapes and statistics, then you are in for a treat. The University of Adelaide has published a book by Kym Andersson and Nanda R Aryal called Which Winegrape Varieties are Grown Where? A Global Empirical Picture. You can buy this massive tome of 690 pages for $77 from the […]

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