Petit Manseng

Synonyms: None
Keywords: dessert wine, high acid, high Brix, late harvest, and small berries

Petit Manseng is an ancient white wine variety that retains exceptionally high titratable acidity even at high soluble solids (Brix). As a result, late-harvested grapes of this variety can make outstanding sweet wines. Harvested at lower Brix it can also make good dry wines, and its high acidity makes it well suited for warm-climate regions. This variety makes small clusters of very small to small grapes, and yields were moderate to low when pruned to two-bud spurs. Longer pruning should increase yield potential, and timely harvest, for dry wines, may also help achieve higher yields.

Adaptability: Broad
Berry Color: White
Berry Maturity: Mid-Season
Berry Size: Small
Cluster Compactness: Loose to Moderate
Cluster Size: Small
Fruit Use: Wine
Product Flavor: tart, rich, honey, stone fruit
Pruning: Spur
Seeds: Seeded
Soluble Solids: High° Brix
Species / Varieties in Pedigree: Vitis vinifera
Vine Vigor: Moderate to High
Yield Potential: Low to Moderate

Figures

Petit manseng leaves.

Petit manseng leaves.

Petit Manseng clusters

Petit Manseng clusters

Origins and History

Petit Manseng is an ancient variety from South-West France (Jurancon), with the first record of it from the sixteenth century. It is believed to be a progeny of Savagnin and a parent of Gros Manseng.

Vine Traits

Petit Manseng is vigorous with small clusters of small berries. As a result, yields for spur-pruned vines were considered moderate-to-low when trialed in the south-central San Joaquin Valley (Tables 1 and 2). However, the vines in that study were trained to quadrilateral cordons and pruned to two-bud spurs. According to Robinson et al. (2012), “long” pruning is advised, so leaving longer spurs, and thus retaining more nodes per vine, may increase yield potential. In the San Joaquin Valley, the clusters tended to whither soon after ripening, rapidly increasing soluble solids and decreasing bunch weight. The clusters are relatively loose and thus resistant to bunch rots.

Quality

Petit Manseng has small clusters with small to very small berries. The berries retain extremely high acidity at high soluble solids (Brix), even when grown in a hot climate region. Because of its outstanding and persistent acidity, Petit Manseng is well suited for high-quality aromatic sweet wines made from late-harvest grapes. It is mainly grown in France (Jurancon, and Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh). There is also a very small amount grown in Spain (Pais Vasco) and Uruguay. In the United States, Petit Manseng’s high acidity makes it well suited to warm climate regions, and thus it has become a popular variety in Virginia where it is grown for dry and late-harvest wines. In Parlier, a town in the south-central San Joaquin Valley of California, a hot climate region, Petit Manseng grapes and wines retained outstanding acidity (Tables 1 and 2), though yields were considered moderate-to-low for the region. It could be a useful for blending with other white wine varieties needing acid addition.

Tables

References

Robinson, J., J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz. 2012. Wine Grapes. HarperCollins, New York


Article Submitted: November 28, 2022
Article Updated: