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Tag Archives | vitis vinifera

Cara Sucia 100% cereza from Mendoza

Criolla, Argentina’s unique grapes

Criolla is the collective name of the grapes in South America that were either brought here as seeds or cuttings by the Spaniards in the 17th century or which are the result of spontaneous crossings that took place in South America between these European grape varieties. Listán negro, listan prieto, moscatel de alejandría and pedro […]

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Not a sharpshooter, just another insect (grasshopper?)

New grape varieties in California to combat severe disease

Pierce’s disease affects vines especially in California and the rest of the United States. But it exists also in South America. The disease is spread through insects called sharpshooters. It is difficult to cure and the vines usually die within five years. Now, the University of California Davis has released five new grape varieties that […]

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An old village in Rioja, Spain

Where is turruntés grown? In Rioja of course!

Yes, turruntés, not torrontes. Rioja is best known for its red wines. But that is no reason to ignore the whites. You can find them in different styles. They can be seriously full-bodied wines with lots of mouthfeel or fresh and floral everyday wines. To put white wine in oak barrels is an old tradition […]

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Grapes in a vineyard in Veneto ready for harvest

Resistant grape varieties spark debate

The vine is in many ways a robust plant that can withstand difficult conditions and drought. But it has weaknesses. One is that it is prone to fungal diseases. No vineyard can survive without spraying. Have you heard the opposite? Don’t believe those who tell you that some wine is made without the use of […]

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A vine leaf attacked by mildiou (downy mildew)

Three white fungus resistant hybrid grape varieties approved in Austria

Four new white grape varieties have just been approved for use in Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) Three of these are so-called PIWIs, which is fungal resistant crossings. PIWI is a German abbreviation for Pilzwiderstandsfähig (literally fungus resistant). The fourth grape is Goldmuskateller, a regular Vitis vinifera that also has a good resistance to rot. The […]

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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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