Saturday 8 January 2022

4 New varieties; Beaujolais gets in on the act.



According to that interesting website 'Vitisphere,' the vignerons of Beaujolais are feeling the need to diversify their red grape portfolio like the vingnerons of Bordeaux.  

How many grapes does the Beaujolais red grape portfolio contain? One of course: Gamay.

Here are the 4 varieties suggested to provide some diversity:

Beaugaray (a Gamay/Heroldrebe cross)

Gaminot (Gamay/Pinot Noir)

Granita (Auxerrois/Portugais Bleu)

Picarlat (Pinot Noir/Cabernet Sauvignon)

All four of these have been obtained by INRA and others in the 1970's and have been inscribed into the French catalogue and classification of grape varieties (2014).

As a reminder, the newly proposed vaieties for Bordeaux include

Petit Manseng
Touriga Nacional

Only Arinarnoa and Marselan are crossings as opposed to the 4 Beaujolais contenders, all of which are relatively newly developed varieties. It's interesting that two of the crossings. Gamay/Pinot Noir and Pinot Noir/Cabernet Sauvignon are so mainstream. We are sure there are other varieties made from these crossings but we can't find any for the moment.


UC Davis releases 5 new varieties



Pierce's disease.

After 20 years of development the University of California at Davis released 5 new grape varieties in 2019: 

Ambulo blanc, similar to sauvignon blanc 

Caminante blanc, which has characteristics of sauvignon blanc and chardonnay.

Camminare noir, which has characteristics of cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah

Errante noir, similar to cabernet sauvignon

Paseante noir, similar to zinfandel

All these varieties have been developed with the intention of resisting Pierce's Disease which is devastating vines across the United States from Florida to California

Emily Hamann of the Sacremento Business journal reports that a member of the UCD staff found a wild grape in Mexico that is resistant to the disease However, 'it grows as a short shrub with fuzzy leaves and bitter, astringent fruit not good for making wine.'

But using old and new methods, UC Davis researchers bred that plant with traditional wine grapes to produce new varieties that vint and taste like traditional wine. the results apparemtly earned the approval of Italian experts (from the Vivai Cooperativo Rauscedo?) and are now being sold to wine nurseries for winegrowers wishing to combat Pierce's Disease.

Let's hope.