Grape Varieties Grown in Wales

SEYVAL BLANC (White Grape)
Developed in the 1920’s in France by crossing a native European vine with an American vine. In 2002 it was the most widely grown variety in the UK. It crops heavily even in the most unfavourable of summers and also has effective disease resistance. It is a good ”˜all rounder’ – often used for blending, and is well suited to oak ageing and used for still or sparkling wines. Can produce a neutral white wine with crisp acidity, but is often blended with other grapes.

TRIOMPHE (Red Grape)
Another French hybrid. Very vigorous in growth and disease resistant. Produces close knit bunches of small red grapes which give a dark red juice. Llanerch vineyard use this grape to produce an off-dry fruity rosé wine with flavours of strawberries and blackcurrants.

BACCHUS (White Grape)
Capable of producing world-class wine, Bacchus is considered to be one of the best grape varieties of Wales and in 2003 was the third most widely planted grape in the UK. Its grapes have an intense and distinctive aromatic flavour, with high sugar content. Bacchus wines age well and develop interesting flavours. This grape is also grown a lot in Germany.

KERNLING (Red Skinned Grape with White Flesh)
Kernling, a new German pedigree variety, produces a typical Germanic-style white wine. The grape is relative of Kerner and Riesling and tends towards acidity. This vigorous vine needs much summer pruning.

HUXELREBE (White Grape)
Bred in 1927 in Germany, Huxelrebe produces large tightly packed bunches of grapes which produce a pleasant medium wine, again Germanic in style. It has a high natural acidity and strong aromas of elderflowers, producing very fruity wines that age well. It needs careful management and can be used for dessert wines because of its susceptibility to ”˜noble rot’.

Currently the second most widely grown variety after Seyval Blanc (2002), this German variety ripens early and regular cropper producing grapes with good sugar levels. It is reliable but a little neutral and is often used for blending in both still and sparkling wines, having good sugar levels.

SIEGERREBE (White Grape)
A small berried and intensely aromatic variety. One of its parents was the famously spicy Gewürztraminer grape. It ripens sometimes to excessive levels and has a very dominating flavour. It is often used to bolster blended wines and a few growers use it as a varietal in its own right – some for late harvest and dessert wines.

This grape was designed for northern planting. It flowers late and crops early. It is useful for blending since it ages well and its relative low acidity will blend well with higher acid varieties. On its own it produces wines that are light and fruity with a pronounced muscatty bouquet.