Côtes-de-Provence to try out foreign varietals

Thursday February 06 2020 by Vitisphere

The Côtes-de-Provence appellation area wants to introduce new drought-resistant grape varieties into the appellation specifications for experimental purposes. Here, Moschofilero for rosé, Calabrese for reds and white Verdejo.The Côtes-de-Provence appellation area wants to introduce new drought-resistant grape varieties into the appellation specifications for experimental purposes. Here, Moschofilero for rosé, Calabrese for reds and white Verdejo. - Photo credit : ODG Côtes de Provence

With the help of the French Vine & Wine Institute, the Chamber of Agriculture and the IHEV, the Côtes de Provence producer’s organisation has drawn up a "short list" of 10 red, white and rosé grape varieties from the south of France, Greece, Italy and South Africa, which all have strong resistance to drought, good acidity levels but low ABV, and are not very prone to disease. There are seven foreign varieties from Greece (Agiorgitiko R, Xinomavro R, Moschofilero Rs, Assyrtiko W), Italy (Calabrese R), South Africa (Pinotage R), North Africa (Verdejo W), and three traditional varieties (Piquepoul R, Bourboulenc W, Grenache blanc W).

The selection process still needs to be fine-tuned so that only a few of them are ultimately kept and then introduced directly into the appellation specifications, as per new provisions introduced by Inao regarding varieties of “interest for adaptation”.

Submitting the case to INAO

From then on, they can be planted by winegrowers and undergo experimentation for 10 years in order to test how they adapt to Provence. “We're trying to plan ahead for global warming so that we'll have a sufficiently broad range of grape varieties in 10 years' time”, says Juliet Girard, technical manager of the organisation. The rule provides for a maximum 5% in the estate's varietal range and 10% in blends for the wines to remain eligible for appellation status.

 

 

 

 

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