In the southwestern part of France, a variety was planted known as Arrufiat – a white wine grape variety planted in the Gascony region.
This grape variety is beginning to regain respect locally and acknowledged as the secondary grape in the wines from Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh AOC.
Arrufiat has a long historical record in using the wines from the Gascony region specifically in the AOC region of Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh.
Arrufiat is known to be the traditional variety of Jurancon region as well as the Vallee de l’Adour in the Pyrenees-Occidentales in southwest France.
It was first mentioned in 1802 in Flourens area just in the east of Toulouse under its old name Bouisselet in an agricultural meeting.
The name Arrufiat can come from the Languedocien word rufe or the Gascon word arrufe, which means “rough” or “proud” but also “gathered” or “wrinkled”.
In 2007, a genetic study from experts suggested that Arrufiat is naturally related to Petit Verdot and in 2009, Bisson included Arrufiat within the Carmenet ampelographic group and also suggests that it has similarities with the Courbu group.
Characteristics of Arrufiat
Grapes of Arrufiat are big and compact; berries are round-shaped or slightly ovoid-shaped, small with thick skins. Leaves are young and green with light bronze patches.
Shoots are herbaceous and have red or red striped internodes. This late ripening variety is vigorous and susceptible to downy mildew and black rot.
Characteristics of Arrufiat Wine
This grape variety is mainly cultured today in the Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh appellation of southwest France which is blended with leading varieties Petit Manseng, Gros Manseng, Courbu Blanc and Petit Courbu.
Arrufiat is now being looked upon with higher level of respect and also used in better measure by some of producers.
Wines made from Arrufiat are normally light in tannins with fresh acidity and a hint of almonds. The aftertaste can be bitter but the best in terms of blend.
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