February 6, 2024 by
Maytte Rivera

The majority of the grape vines used to produce wine belong to the species Vitis vinifera, for example Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc.  A cross is when a grape vine is fertilized with the pollen of another vine from the same species to create a new grape variety.  This can happen naturally in the vineyard or manually with human intervention.   

Modern DNA tests have shown that most of the grapes used today in winemaking are crosses, for example Cabernet Sauvignon, which parents are Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay, which is a cross of Pinot Noir and the ancient white grape Gouais Blanc. Marselan, like the one produced by Bodegas Garzón in Uruguay, is a cross of Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache, highly regarded for its ability to withstand warmer temperatures.  In Piemonte, Italy, Castello Banfi has rescued Albarossa, a cross of the local Barbera and Nebbiolo grapes that was almost extinct.  Climate change has forced viticulturist to create varieties that can adapt to the weather patterns, so keep your palate open for new adventures!

Author: Maytte Rivera

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