Thursday, August 9, 2012

German White Grape Variety of the Day: Bacchus

White Berries Rivaner

White Grape Variety: Bacchus

Bacchus at a Glance
German Ranking (2011): No. 13 (No. 7 for White Grape Varieties)
Vineyard Area (2011): 1,893 ha (1.85 % of total Vineyard Areas)
Major Regions (2010): Franken (Franconia) - 734 ha
Rheinhessen (Rhine Hesse) - 710 ha
Nahe - 147 ha
10 year Tendency: decreasing (-1,073 ha or -36.18% since 2001)
(Data: German Federal Statistics Office - Destatis, 2011)

White Wine Grape Bacchus

Bacchus – A young Crossing with a divine Name
Bacchus is an artificial Crossing between the White Wine Grapes Silvaner, Riesling and Mueller-Thurgau (Rivaner). The German Viticulturist Peter Morio (1887 – 1960) has created the Variety in 1933 at the Geilweilerhof Institute for Grape Breeding in Siebeldingen-Pfalz (Palatinate). Only since 1972 it was released for the general Cultivation and mainly developed in Franken (Franconia). Bacchus had its Peak in Germany in the 1990’s and ever since the ratio of planted Grapes is decreasing.
The Bacchus Grape Variety only occupied 1.85% of the German Vineyards in 2011 but is still a representative Wine for Germany and especially for the Wine Growing Region Franken (Franconia). Apart from Franken, where the Bacchus Grape is planted on more than 10% of all Vineyards, it can be found mainly in Rheinhessen (Rhine Hesse), Pfalz (Palatinate) and the Nahe Region. Apart from Germany, Bacchus is also grown in England, where it retains a higher Acidity due to the colder weather conditions.

The Name originates from the Greek mythology. The Wine God Dionysus, respectively its Roman equivalent Bacchus lent its Name to the Wine Grape Variety. In Germany, the Bacchus Grape might also be called “Früher Scheurebe” or “Weisser Bacchus”.

White Wine Bacchus Kabinett Volkacher Ratsherr

Exotic Bouquet with a Hint of Nutmeg
The Bacchus Grape reaches high Must Weights and ripens much earlier than the Riesling Grape. Bacchus performs well in colder Climate and is almost completely resistant against Chlorosis. The Crop Yields are similar to the Mueller-Thurgau (Silvaner) Grape, thus relatively high. Bacchus Grapes are easy to plant since they have no special requirements regarding the Site. That is why it is a good alternative for Vineyards where the rather demanding Riesling doesn’t grow.
The Flavors of Bacchus Wines are powerful and vigorous. After full Ripeness it can produce fruity Wines with an aromatic, exotic Fragrance and a light Muscat Tone. Due to its low Acidity, Bacchus is suitable for the blending into other Wines, such as the Mueller-Thurgau (Rivaner).
Nowadays, the most successful Varieties of Bacchus Grapes are cultivated in Franken (Franconia) and are easy to recognize because of their bright, green-yellow color with a hint of nutmeg. Tip: Bacchus Wines should be enjoyed young.

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