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.
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Villard Blanc is a white French-American hybrid bunch grape that was released in 1937 by Seyve and Villard. Currently, it is frequently grown in eastern and southern states as a fresh-eating table grape or for blending in white wine for a light, neutral flavor. Vines have a semi upright growth habit and are vigorous and productive with large loose clusters that fully mature in late July to late September. While it is susceptible to black rot and Powdery mildew, it has some tolerance to Pierce’s disease, at least in the first 10 years of being grown.
Conquistador is a purple, multi-purpose hybrid bunch grape that was released by the University of Florida in 1983 by J.A. Mortensen. It is recommended for red wine, juice, jelly, u-pick, fresh market, and home gardens. Vines are moderately vigorous and capable of producing high yields when grafted onto a recommended rootstock. Clusters are small and consist of medium sized berries that ripen in mid to late July with a flavor similar to Concord. It has good tolerance to spring frost and diseases such as anthracnose, downy mildew, black rot, ripe rot, and Pierce’s disease. However, it is susceptible to Isariopsis leaf blight.
Miss Blanc is a white French-American hybrid bunch grape that was released by Mississippi State University in 1982 by J.P Overcash, C.P. Hegwood Jr., and B.J. Stojanovic. It is grown for its usefulness as a mild flavored white wine that has been judged intermediate in quality. Vines are moderately vigorous and productive with medium to large clusters that fully mature in late July to mid-August. While it is susceptible to anthracnose and black rot, it has good tolerance to Pierce’s disease.
‘Blanc du Bois’ is a white hybrid grape cross developed by Dr. John A. Mortensen at the University of Florida’s Central Florida Research and Education Center (Leesburg, FL) in 1968. In Mortenson’s original release document, he indicated three descriptors of significance for ‘Blanc du Bois’: (1) early ripening; (2) grows well on its own roots (though rootstocks may be necessary on some soils and for nematodes); and of greatest significance, (3) resistance to Pierce’s disease. In addition, and also of major importance, ‘Blanc du Bois’ has very good wine making qualities. It was named in recognition of Emile DuBois, an immigrant from France to Florida, who planted >150 grape cultivars in the Tallahassee area and produced award-winning wines in his time. ‘Blanc du Bois’ is considered one of the best southeastern cultivars for premium wine due to its balanced flavor and resistances to both Pierce’s disease, phyllozera, and powdery mildew. It grows vigorously with a semi-erect growth pattern and produces medium-sized clusters with large berries. ‘Blanc du Bois’ ripens mid to late July in areas of Georgia west of Atlanta and will yield 1.8-4.5 metric tons (2-5 tons) per acre with good viticultural practices. It is grown throughout the Southeast but is most common in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Though well adapted to the southeastern climate, it is still highly susceptible to anthracnose. The soluble solids content is on average lower than Vitis vinifera cultivars.
Petit verdot is an old French variety, first documented in 1736. Petit Verdot ENTAV-INRA 400 was moderately productive (12 tons/acre in the central San Joaquin Valley), and late ripening. However, other clones of Petit Verdot, including FPS 1 and 2, have been found to have very low yield potential (<5 tons acre) in the San Joaquin Valley. Regardless of yield, Petit Verdot wines can be richly colored, even from grapes grown in warm or hot climates. Due to its good productivity, late ripening, and high fruit quality, it may be of particular interest to growers looking for heat tolerant red wine varieties.