Tannat

Synonyms: Tanat
Keywords: dark color, hot climate, and red wine

Tannat is an old red wine variety originating in south-west France. It is productive, with excellent fruit quality, particularly with respect to color. Berries have thick skins and are unlikely to rot. Tannat’s good productivity and fruit quality, even under hot climate conditions, makes it an appealing choice for growers in warm climate regions. It is suited for varietal wines and can contribute color and flavor to red blends.

Adaptability: warm to hot
Berry Color: Black
Berry Maturity: Mid-Season
Berry Size: Small to Medium
Cluster Compactness: Well-filled
Cluster Size: Medium to Large
Fruit Use: Wine
Product Flavor: red fruit, black fruit, spice, smoke
Pruning: Spur
Seeds: Seeded
Soluble Solids: 24° Brix
Species / Varieties in Pedigree: Vitis vinifera
Vine Vigor: Moderate
Yield Potential: Moderate

Figures

A leaf of the grapevine variety Tannat.

A leaf of the grapevine variety Tannat.

A cluster of Tannat grapes.

A cluster of Tannat grapes.

Origins and History

Tannat has been recognized since the 18th century, likely originating in south-west France. The name is thought to refer to the dark color or high tannin content of the berries (Robinson, 2012). Currently it is most widely grown in France and Uruguay, with relatively modest plantings in the USA.

Vine Traits

According to Pl@ntgrape, Tannat can be identified based on the following traits. Young shoot tips have a very high density of prostrate hairs, and young leaves are reddish with bronze spots. Adult leaves are dark green, pentagonal, and entire or with three to five lobes, with an elongated central lobe. The petiolar sinus can be slightly open or closed, the leaf margins have short teeth with straight sides. Leaf veins have a moderate anthocyanin coloration, a revolute blistered leaf blade, sometimes undulate between the main veins, and on the lower side of the leaves, a medium density of prostrate hairs. Berries are round.

According to Pl@ntgrape, Tannat should be “long pruned”, although Verdegaal (2009) and Wolpert (unpublished) found it productive on spurs. However, Verdegaal reported Tannat was “very vigorous”, whereas Wolpert found the growth to be “moderately low”. Diferences in vigor might have resulted from the different selections or “clones” used in the two trials. Verdegaal planted Tannat FPS 1, whereas Wolpert planted Tannat ENTAV-INRA 474. Both people reported good yields and fruit quality.

Vineyard Considerations

Tannat is generally considered vigorous, but a trial in Parlier reported “moderately weak” vegetative growth. Trellising with foliage support wires might be helpful in either case. Verdegaal (2009) opined that it was a “grower friendly” grape, though it was possibly “drought sensitive”.

Quality

Tannat performed well in several trials in the San Joaquin Valley. Paul Verdegaal (2009) reported that Tannat in Lodi had very intense red color, and could be used to enhance the flavor of blended wines. James Wolpert found that Tannat grown in Parlier had exceptional anthocyanin and tannin content (Tables 2, 3), and good pH and titratable acidity (TA).

Tables

References

Pl@ntgrape. Catalogue of grapevines cultivated in France. 2022. https://plantgrape.plantnet-project.org/en/

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

Verdegaal, P. 2009. Variety Observation Trial. https://ucanr.edu/sites/CE_San_Joaquin/files/35897.pdf


Article Submitted: January 19, 2023
Article Updated: