French hybrids

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

French hybrids, group of vine hybrids bred in France in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, usually by crossing or hybridizing american vine species with a European vinifera variety (see vine breeding). These are also known as direct producers, hybrid direct producers, HDPs, or, in French, hybrides producteurs directs. One early response to the invasion of the American phylloxera louse in Europe was to plant American varieties, since most had phylloxera tolerance. In Europe they proved to be both hardy and resistant to a wide range of fungal diseases, but, because of the strange, often foxy, flavour of the wine they produced, it has been illegal to plant the likes of isabella, noah, Othello, Black Spanish (Jacquez), and Herbemont in France since 1934.