The flagship wine grapes of the future

2nd July, 2014 by Patrick Schmitt

A native Armenian red and a white variety from the Peloponnese could be the “next big things” in wine according to grape geneticist and Wine Grapes co-author José Vouillamoz.

Chile-GrapesSpeaking during May’s MW Symposium in Florence, Vouillamoz pointed out that throughout history certain grapes have gone “from oblivion to flagship”, before revealing a selection of varieties that he believed could become famous in the future.

Initially, however, by way of example, he said that the Tribidrag grape had evolved from a little-known native grape of Croatia to become the Primitivo of Puglia as well as the Zinfandel of California.

Further emphasising that grapes can become successful a long way from their home, he pointed out that native Bordeaux grape Carmenère has been widely planted in Chile, but also China, where it’s called Cabernet Gernischt – once wrongly thought to be Cabernet Franc.

Vouillamoz then picked out 14 obscure varieties that he believed could be well-known and widely-planted grapes of the future.

He also stressed the importance of preserving little-known grapes and consuming the wines made from them.

“Obscure varieties are a very important source of biodiversity and the best way to preserve these obscure grapes is to drink the wine from them,” he said.

Read on to discover some of Vouillamoz’s hot tips for the future shape of world viticulture.

One Response to “The flagship wine grapes of the future”

  1. John Cifelli says:

    Patrick,
    Great article. It’s exciting to think that there are many lifetimes of exploration and development in the ever expanding wine world. One item to add- Counoise is being grown at Unionville Vineyards in New Jersey as well with great success. Rhone varieties, along with some Austrian varieties (perhaps the flagship varieties of the future in the past) have a home in NJ.
    -John Cifelli, Executive Director, Garden State Wine Growers Association

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