Thursday, November 1, 2007

Ohio Wine Grapes: Chambourcin

This is the first one a series of posts about grape varietals that thrive in Ohio, but are rarely found in other parts of the world.

We'll start with the Chambourcin grape, a hybrid first introduced in French's Loire Valley in the early 1960s (an infant by grape varietal standards). Chambourcin is a favorite of Lake Erie wine growers as well as those in the mid-Atlantic regions, especially Virginia. Here's a few facts about this hearty grape:
  • Chambourcin wines have a high level of tannins and a deep ruby red color.
  • This grape is extremely disease-resistent
  • It was first planted in the United States in the early 1970s, in an Ohio vineyard.
  • Chambourcin is also popular in Australia's Hunter Valley and in its home region of the Loire Valley in France.
  • The exact lineage of the Chambourcin hybrid is unknown. Its creator died suddenly and his notes have never been found.
  • Among the Ohio wineries producing Chambourcin wines are Chalet Debonne, Henke Winery, Terra Cotta Winery, and Myrddin Winery.
(photo © Flickr user: miss tiffy/cc license)

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