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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Charbono is an old French wine variety from Savoie where it is known as Corbeau or Douce noir. Currently is is most widely planted in Mendoza and San Juan, Argentina, under the name Bonarda, where it is mostly used for good-value wines. Trialed in the hot climate of the San Joaquin Valley, it produced moderate yields of good quality fruit, confirming its reputation as a heat tolerant variety. Useful clonal differences have been observed, particularly with respect to cluster compactness and ripening time, with FPS 4 being the earliest ripening, and with the least compact clusters.
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.
Ciliegiolo is an ancient Italian variety, a parent of Sangiovese. Vigorous and moderately productive, it has pyramidal, compact clusters, with large round berries that smell of cherries, after which Ciliegiolo is named. Wine quality potential in the hot climate of the San Joaquin Valley was good, with adequate color and interesting flavors. In somewhat cooler climates it is even more highly regarded, with D’Agata (2014) considering it to be one of Italy’s greatest and most unappreciated grapes.
Syrah is a famous Rhone variety that is now grown throughout the world, especially in Australia, where it is known as Shiraz, and is the most widely planted red wine variety in that country. Syrah is considered a versatile variety that can make good wine in a broad spectrum of climates. Syrah may be used to produce varietal table wines of distinct character in cooler districts and has also demonstrated high potential for red table wine production in warmer districts, including California’s Central Valley. Syrah berries tend to shrivel after ripening, and some Syrah selections have a non-infectious genetic syndrome that predisposes the vines to decline.
Graciano is a Spanish red wine grape of ancient origin and has been grown all around the Mediterranean under various synonyms. It is not particularly productive, due to low fertility, small clusters, and small berries, but there has been increased interest in this variety because its fruit quality potential is high, even when grown in warm or hot climates. Its acidity, tannins, and aroma are particularly notable.
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.
Ségalin is a red wine grape (Vitis vinifera L.) variety from France that was selected from a planned cross of the varieties Jurançon noir and Portugais made in 1957 by Paul Truel. Robinson et al. (2012) described the vines as having low vigor in warmer climates, but vigor and yields were adequate in a San Joaquin Valley trial, a hot climate region. Berries accumulate very high anthocyanin content, and make deeply-colored wines, even in the San Joaquin Valley. Bunch rot was a problem in some years.
Teroldego is an Italian red wine grape of ancient origin. It has compact clusters with medium to large berries. The berries have high anthocyanin content, even in warm climates, and wines are typically fruity, with soft tannins (D’Agato, 2014). Good fruit and wine quality and adaptability to warm and hot climate regions have increased interest in Teroldego in California and elsewhere.
Durif arose from a natural cross of Peloursin and Syrah in the 1860s in France. Vines have low to moderate vigor and moderate yield potential. Durif berries have high anthocyanin and tannin content, even when grown in warm climates. The berries are prone to sunburn and shrivel, and the clusters to bunch rot. However, these issues can be managed to some extent with appropriate cultural practices. Durif wines are typically dark-colored and full-bodied.