New Varieties

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

new varieties, somewhat loose and relative term used to describe vine varieties specifically and deliberately developed by man, which effectively means developed since the late 19th century (although it is sometimes used parochially to describe varieties new to a region).

There is interest in breeding new varieties which are resistant, for example, to environmental stresses, fungal and bacterial diseases, and nematodes and insects (see vine breeding). Of these, the major goals are varieties tolerant of the fungal diseases downy mildew, powdery mildew, and botrytis bunch rot or resistant to pierce’s disease. Unfortunately, new varieties, especially hybrids but even some crosses, suffer from the stigma of the poor wine quality of the early French hybrids. The uptake of newly developed grape varieties has been further hindered by consumer preference for traditional varieties, particularly the international varieties, a consequence in part of varietal labelling.