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Chardonnay

White Variety

GRAPE

HISTORY

VITICULTURE

VITICAL AREAS

ENOLOGICAL INTERESTS

Chardonnay is a variety of green skin grapes used to making white wine. It is originally from the region In eastern France, but now grows in all main wine-growing regions around the world.

The chardonnay grape is very neutral and is therefore strongly influenced by the terroir and the method of production. Chardonnay is an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including champagne.

For a long time it was assumed that there was a connection between chardonnay and pinot noir or pinot blanc as it was found in the same region of France for centuries, and the leaves of each plant had an almost identical shape and structure. The true origin of the chardonnay was also claimed by vineyard owners from Lebanon and Syria, who said that the ancestor of the grape could be traced from the Middle East, from where it was introduced to Europe by the returning Crusaders, although there was little external evidence to support this theory.

Modern DNA fingerprinting research at the University of California at Davis now suggests that Chardonnay is the result of a cross between the pinot and gouais blanc (heunisch) varieties. It is believed that Romans brought the gouais blanc of Croatia and was widely cultivated by pheasants in the east of France. The pinot of the French aristocracy grew in close proximity to the gouais blanc, giving both grapes ample opportunity to cross.

Chardonnay has a reputation for being relatively easy growing and its ability to adapt to different conditions. The grapes are malleable and the wines produced show different characteristics acording to the terroir and the method of vinification. It is a highly vigorous wine, with an extensive leaf cover that can inhibit the energy and nutrients consumed by the grapes. Agronomists counteract this with extensive pruning and canopy management. When chardonnay vines are planted densely, they are forced to compete for nutrition for their grapes. This produces premium chardonnay. It is necessary to limit the yield to less than half since the concentrated flavors are not so important as the fineness of the wine.

While chardonnay can be adapted to almost all vineyard soils, it seems to prefer chalk, limestone and sand.

The chardonnay is established in the main wine-growing areas of the world such as France, Spain, South Africa, etc.

Spanish regions began to plant chardonnay in order to promote the international marketing of wine better.

Although the wines differ a lot according to the area and method in which it has been produced it is prooved to be a very suitable variety for the realization of aging in barrels.

Appearance:

The colour of the chardonnay grape is varies between very pale straw and a more pronounced straw yellow This is in many cases is due to the contribution of wood, and greenish reflections, which are defined by the variety used.

Smell:

The characteristic aromas of Chardonnay are not very mature.

In a cold climate it can reach a remarkable acidity and contain aromas of lemon, grapefruit, pear and acaci.,

In warm climate it acquires aromas of tropical fruits (mango, pineapple, banana, melon, pineapple) and there may appear some notes of spice or caramel.

When aging in oak there can appear aromas of vanilla, honey and butter.

Flavors:

Chardonnay has a long aftertaste, it has neither hard ends nor aggressive acidity. It has a wide range of flavors which are defined by apples, citrus, melon, pears, honey, wax, caramel, and often recognizable minerals.

Moscatel

White Variety

GRAPE

HISTORY

VITICULTURE

VITICAL AREAS

ENOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The muscatel grape family includes about 200 varieties of grape vitis vinifera. They have been used in the production of wine and as raisins and table grapes around the world for many centuries. Its colors go from whitish (in the muscat ottonel), to yellow (moscato giallo), to pink (moscato rosa del Trentino) and close to black (Hamburg muscatel). Muscat wines and grapes almost always have a pronounced sweet floral scent. The breadth and number of moscatel varieties suggests that it may be the oldest cultivated grape variety, and there are theories that many vitis vinifera are descendants of Muscat.

Among the most notable members of the Muscat family is the Muscat of Alexandria and is commonly used in the production of French vin doux naturel, but is also found in Spain, where it is used to make many of the fortified Spanish Muscat wines and dry white wines .

Muscat is considered one of the oldest grape varieties that still exist. Ampelographers have identified the grapes with the Anathelicon moschaton grape used by the Greeks and Apiane vines planted by the Romans (so called because of the desire of insects, particularly bees – in Latin, apis, to devour the flesh of The berries). It was probably introduced first in France by the Greeks through the commercial port of Marseilles and later extended by the Roman region of Narbonense in the conquest of Gaul. It was the main export of Frontignan in the time of Charlemagne and the plantations are documented in Germany in the 12th century. It became a popular plant in Alsace in the 16th century.

It is a typically Mediterranean variegated, which needs sunshine and the influence of the sea. The vine thrives in a warm climate and is particularly sensitive to the cold during its blooming season.
It is a little vigorous, erect variety. It is resistant to drought and adapts well to gravel and acid soils. It is suitable for cultivation in very hot areas and has poor performance. It is very sensitive to powdery mildew, red spider and spring frost.
Its harvest is the earliest in Spain, because the temperatures of the Mediterranean summer makes it mature gradually and steadily. It can start in mid-August.

Clusters are of large size, medium loose with long peduncle. Medium-large berries, yellow-green. Medium thick berry skin. Pulp of soft consistency and very juicy, with particular aromas of muscat.

It is considered an “old vine”, and wine experts believe that it is one of the oldest that remain unmodified and that they still persist.

The grape originated in North Africa, and the name probably derives from its association with the ancient Egyptians who used the grape to make wine. While nowadays grown mainly as table grapes and for raisin production, it is still an important grape in the Australian and South African wine industry. It is also cultivated very intensely on the island of Samos, in the Aegean region of northeastern Greece, and it is said that Cleopatra drank Muscat wine from there. Other countries that grow it are: Italy, Chile, Bolivia, Portugal, Cyprus, and France.

In Spain, it is widespread in Andalusia and the Valencian Community. In addition, it is also present with fewer hectares in Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, Castilla y León, Aragón and Canaries, In Murcia, Extremadura, La Rioja, Basque Country and Balearic Islands.

With this variety, dry white, sweet and sparkling white wines are produced, both monovarietal and multivariate. Also, it can be used for mistelas, raisins, musts and juices. Its wine is very aromatic, with elegant and floral aromas.

This grape growing in the Spanish province of Malaga, is customary to make sweet wines. Traditionally, this was done by placing the bunches in the sun for about 20 days to dry the grapes and concentrate the sugars. At the present time they are elaborated with several methods. Sometimes a grape liqueur (mistela) is incorporated in the fermentation, although other times dry grapes are still used, producing a wine with 18% alcohol and a lot of residual sugar. Other times, the Muscat of Alexandria is mixed with the Pedro Pedra ximénez grape, sometimes imported from the Cordovan region of Montilla-Moriles.6 In the Valencian Community, there are very recognized mistelas in the triangle formed by Godelleta, Cheste and Turis.5
In Australia, grapes are often used in the production of cream sherry (“sherry cream” is a common variety of sweet sherry made from odorous) .1
In Portugal, Moscatel wine is a sweet wine widely produced in the region of the Setúbal peninsula, just south of Lisbon, as well as in Favaios, Alijó and other areas of the Portuguese Douro.

Sauvignon blanc

White Variety

GRAPE

HISTORY

VITICULTURE

VITICAL AREAS

ENOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Sauvignon Blanc is a greenish-skinned grape from the French region of Bordeaux. Probably, the grape took its name from the French words sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”), because of its primitive origins in southwestern France. Sauvignon Blanc is planted in many countries around the world. It produces a single-varietal white wine refreshing and dry. Sauvignon blanc is widely cultivated in France, Italy, Spain, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.

The sauvignon blanc may have originated in western France, where the Loire and Bordeaux valleys are located. Research suggests that it may have descended from savagnin, although it has also been associated with carmenere. In the eighteenth century, cabernet franc and cabernet sauvignon were planted in Bordeaux. In the nineteenth century in the vineyards of Bordeaux were mixed sauvignon vert (known in Chile as sauvignonnasse) and a pink mutation of sauvignon blanc called sauvignon gris. Before the plague of nineteenth-century phylloxera, these cuttings were transported to Chile, where fields with these intermixed varieties are still common.

Winemakers harvest the grapes at various intervals to achieve different characteristics that the grape can impart depending on its maturity levels. In its most immature stage, the grape is rich in malic acid. As it progresses further toward maturity, the grape develops the taste of red and green pepper and finally achieves a sugar balance.

Clusters: Small in size, very compact and uniform so that the grains usually deform by pressure between them and with a very short peduncle.
Berries: Small, rounded-elliptic with green epidermis and with stomas and lenticels very visible in maturation, difficult to detach. With fairly thick skins.

Pulp: has no pigmentation, is consistent but very juicy with a clear fruity flavor and very aromatic.
Strains: Of high vigor, with very high yields and yields. Late bursting.

In France sauvignon blanc grows in Bordeaux’s maritime climate (especially in Entre-Deux-Mers, Graves and Pessac-Leognan for dry wines and in Sauternes for sweet wines) as well as in the continental climate of the Loire Valley (Pouilly Fumé , Sancerre and Touraine). The climates of these areas are particularly favorable to the slow ripening of the grape on the vine, thus giving the grapes more time to achieve a balance between their acidity and their sugar level. This balance is important for the intensity of the wine aroma.

In the region of Castilla y León is the DO Rueda, which currently has 600 ha of sauvignon blanc. In Catalonia there is a small amount cultivated, which at present (2016) oscillates between 10 and 100 ha. Also it is authorized variety by some of D.O mediterranean like Alicante, Yecla. Etc

In Australia, especially in the area of the Margaret River, the grape is usually mixed with the semillon. Monovarietal sauvignon blanc wines from the Adelaide and Padthaway hills and have notes of lime and peach, as well as a slightly higher acidity.

Acid must, with flavors of green fruits, grass and leaves, also remember gooseberries, sauco, mushrooms and flowers.

The Sauvignon Blanc produces very elegant and balanced dry white wines, with varietal aromas present during the first years.

Late harvests or botrytis can produce large liqueur wines.

Aging is not easy, unless the wine is kept in the barrel for a long time.