You may be thinking what can be so sordid about a couple of innocent grapes…well the result of this affair produced the grape we all know and love, Pinotage.
Yes, Pinotage is a South African invention that has been around since the 1950s. It is a hybrid of the aforementioned classic varieties. All the delicate light-heartedness of the Pinot Noir grape combined with the more tannic, plummy structure of the Cinsault grape.
Why the name?
In order to keep you guessing, the South Africans actually renamed Cinsault to be Hermitage (not to be confused with French Hermitage which is entirely Syrah!).
Just another fascinating fact you can pull out at the dinner table!
Do you ever wonder how we ended up with so many grape varietals?
Well, I am not about to tell you, but I am going to tell you about what happened when the tasty, fruity Sauvignon Blanc Grape met the sophisticated Cabernet Franc varietal and produced an offspring…can you guess it?
Cabernet Sauvignon of course!
Yes, it’s true, that grape we all know and love. In Bordeaux Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. The Cabernet Sauvignon gives a more fruity flavour whilst the Cabernet Franc is lighter and can smack a vegetal strike which is why it is often used in blending.
Five months into trading and Hannibal’s website appears to be developing an insatiable appetite for wine insights, detail and general trivia! Right now, the team is busy building a Wine Encyclopaedia, kicking off with the Grape Index. Having completed ‘A’ (there aren’t any grapes beginning with the letter ‘A’), they’ve shot through the ‘B’s, languished on the ‘C’s (Cabernet this, Cabernet that, Carmenere this, Carignan that – phew) and they’re now tacking the ‘G’s. ‘Not great progress’, I hear you say. How wrong you would be! There are literally hundreds of these pesky things to write about and I’m told that very soon, the team will be looking for a helping hand or two from our loyal readers – there’s a bottle or two in it for those who are interested in contributing…. watch this space…!
So, who knows what Bacchus is? Who’s even heard of it? Well, this lesser know varietal was the creation of a famous German viticulturist who belonged to an institute of Grape Breeding – no prizes for guessing what they got up to there….
A Sylvaner / Riesling cross was grafted onto a stem of Müller-Thurgau in an effort to create a variety that was more resistant to frost and fungal disease.
Interestingly, Bacchus is often used to accentuate the flavour of Müller-Thurgau in a blend, so, as in life, the parent variety is now relying on its offspring for a bit of extra get up and go!
Bacchus wasn’t released for general cultivation until 1972, some 40 years after it was developed. The War got in the way and it never really took off in its native country, Germany. Yet here in Blighty, Bacchus thrives, often being referred to as the ‘signature grape variety for English and Welsh wines’. Under British growing conditions it can give you a Sauvignon Blanc style wine.
Hannibal Brown.com is owned and operated by Hannibal Brown Wine Services Ltd, registered in England and Wales at 61a Walton Street, Walton on the Hill, Tadworth, Surrey, KT20 7RZ with Company No. 7246625. VAT registration number 174092604
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