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Vititec clone tasting

By , 13 February 2020

Ever heard of Arinarnoa and Marselan? The former a cross between Cabernet Sauvignon and Tannat and the latter between Cab and Grenache, they are two of the seven new grape varieties approved last year for Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur appellation wines as part of efforts to fight climate change.

Vititec CEO Nico Spreeth and Vinpro viticulturist Etienne Terblanche.

Interesting to taste these among a line-up of experimental wines made on a small scale from the latest available wine grape clones presented by Vititec, the Vinpro-affiliated company that delivers more than 95% of the scion plant material and nearly 50% of rootstock plant material to the South African wine industry. Also on show were wines from Sauvignon Gris, an “improver” clone of Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Vermentino, Piquel Blanc, Macabeau, Cinsaut Blanc, Pinot Noir, Counoise, Terret Noir, Grenache Noir, Lledoner Pelut, Malbec, Tempranillo and Zinfandel. And all this preceded by a tour of the Vitic research “garden” planted to some 220 clones of familiar and not so familiar varieties.

What will work best under South African conditions? That’s open for debate but as Vititec chief viticulturist Charles Visser says, “It’s important to do the groundwork now otherwise 20 years down the line, we simply won’t know what our options are.”


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