Baco Blanc grapes
Baco Blanc is an American-French grape variety which is a hybrid. It is created in 1898 by crossing between the grape Noah and Folle Blanche.
This crossing was carried out by the breeder Francois Baco. The Parent of Baco Blanc is Folle Blanche which belongs to the family Vitis Vinifera.
Origin and History
This grape was grown to create some aromas like Folle Blanche and differs in the vulnerability to phylloxera and the grape disease in America.
It was hugely planted in the 1900s in the region of Gascony to produce brandy. Both Cognac and Armagnac are brandies produced from white wine grapes- Folle Blanche, Colombard and Ugni Blanc.
But the only wine to be permitted by the French regulations was Armagnac and until the late 20th century, the important Armagnac’s grape was Baco Blanc.
After the grape’s deterioration at the end of the 20th century, some assumptions were made regarding the future prospects of the grape variety, particularly after an INAO decree in 1992 that by 2010 the destruction of all the vines of grape Baco Blanc should take place.
Anyhow, the lawyers for the variety and its chronological importance in Armagnac have been capable to influence the authorities to allow its usage in the Armagnac as distilled wines.
In 1898, Francois Baco bred Baco Blanc from a cross of Folle Blanche that had problems after the epidemic of phylloxera in the 19th century and the grape Noah which was an American hybrid.
Before four years, Francois Baco also used Folle Blanche and an unidentified species Vitis riparia for creating a dark-skinned variety of Baco Blanc called Baco Noir. Prior to the development of Baco Noir, the major grape for the brandies made in the Armagnac and Cognac of France was Folle Blanche.
But along with its problems with the American rootstock, the vulnerability of the grape too many grape diseases such as black rot in Armagnac region and grey rot in Cognac was seen.
Francois Baco wanted to make a grape which had many neutral taste and features which lead to Folle Blanche being good for distillation without the vulnerability that had afflicted growers of Folle Blanche.
For the maximum of the 20th century, the main grape variety of the Armagnac was Baco Blanc. It achieved its zenith in 1970s with above 85% of total plantations in the region, accounting for above 10700 hectares.
Regions Where It Is Grown
Baco Blanc is primarily found in France and was among the hybrids of workhorse which the nation turned to after the 19th century due to phylloxera epidemic.
While plantations could be available scattered throughout France, maximum of the Baco Blanc plantations can be seen on the west part of the nation.
Baco Blanc went through a small period of fame in the upcoming wine industry of New Zealand in the 20th century. At present, Baco Blanc remains in New Zealand and used mainly for spirits and distillation.
Baco Blanc is famous under several synonyms such as Baco 22 A, 22 A Baco, Maurice Baco, Piquepoul de Pays and Baco 22-A.
While Baco Blanc has no sensitivity to black and grey rot like Folle Blanche, it may be vulnerable to powdery mildew.
This vulnerability is improved because of the affinity of these grape vines to ripen late and bud early, causing risk to moisture and rain of mutually early harvest and early spring time.
Although, its cycle of growing season doesn’t favor the wine production, it tends to produce neutral flavor, high acid grapes with reduced sugars and is good for distillation.
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂