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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Gouttenoire

Grape revolution in Bordeaux?

Ever since the 17th century, Bordeaux is well known as the birthplace of Merlot, Cabernet-Franc, Cabernet-Sauvignon and Petit Verdot grapes.

But due to global warming and limits in organic agriculture to control vine pests, some Bordeaux wine producers try to imagine the Bordeaux of the future.

In 2019 the Bordeaux AOC voted to allow vine-growers to plant seven hitherto foreign grape varieties to supplement the blends – all varieties believed to be more resistant to disease (albeit not immune) and adapt to the warmer weather that has been registered in the latest couple of decades.

In Entre-Deux-Mers wine region, a family named Ducourt (whom Pierre Gouttenoire used to work closely with developing wines in his previous life as a winemaker) is a pioneer of planting a new generation of vine hybrids naturally resistant against the main vine diseases namely downy and powdery mildew.

As GMO is not allowed in Europe, the hybrids were selected recently by natural cross-breeding between various European varieties (“Vitis Vinifera” the ones that we are familiar with for winemaking e.g. Sauvignon, Riesling) with Asian or American varieties such as “Vitis Amurensis” or “Vitis Muscadinia”.

French authorities have allowed Jeremy Ducourt to experiment with these new grapes for the last 6 years. We tasted several of Jeremy’s wines during our visit in October and thought they were quite delicious. His blend named Metissage 2017 was just rated 90 points by James Suckling (acclaimed wine critic). It's a blend of white grapes named Cal 6-04 (no official name for the moment) made by Valentin Blattner in Switzerland with a bit of Solaris (another hybrid selected in Germany).

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