Buket grapes – Bukkettraube is a white grape variety of German origin. It has now also grown to a vast extent in South African vineyards where it has gained much popularity among the African nation’s recently established winemaking community.
Bukkettraube, being a white variety, is used to produce sparkling as well as sweet wines because of its susceptibility to ‘noble rot’ Botrytis cineria.
Bukketraube wines tend to be light, floral flavoured with flowery aromas and notes that include peaches, apricots and pear flavours.
As its name suggests, Bukkettraube is a very aromatic variety, since it exhibits aromas that seem very identical to a bouquet.
It doesn’t have much of recorded history; however, its DNA could indicate that it’s a cross of Silvaner and Schiava Grossa although wine historians are sceptical of these claims.
Nowadays, it is mostly grown in South Africa with only some 88 acres of land being reported so far.
Bukkettraube, as the name suggests, is a Germanic white variety that is no longer grown in Germany but in South Africa.
Being a cornerstone, the local variety, the grape hasn’t seen much of dynamic history, although its DNA analysis does indicate that it could be a cross of Silvaner and SchiavaGrossa.
An Alsatian connection has also been claimed since there is a rare ‘Bouqettraube’ grown here, although not much can be found about the rare grape, not even in The Oxford Companion to Wines article on Bukkettraube itself.
However, it does look like that this variety could be having some relationship with the Alsatian variety as the name suggests.
Sebastian Englerth is supposed to have created this variety in the 19th century, although the grape hasn’t found much of its record since that era.
Today, it is exclusively grown only in South Africa that only has some 88 acres of vineyards recorded so far.
Some very few plantations do exist in France, Spain, Germany and Zimbabwe.
The grape is hardly exported outside these regions due to the grape’s susceptibility to lose all its flavours and aromas.
Synonyms of Bukkettraube
Bukkettraube due to its small cultivations in the Mediterranean and South Africa has earned many nicks and synonyms.
Bouquetraube, Buke, Bocksbeutel, Bouquet Blanc are just some of its regional synonyms.
The Bukkettraube is extremely susceptible to several viticulture hazards like mildew and gape fungi.
It is allowed to undergo ‘noble rot’ since the grape’s properties allow it to produce even sweeter wines from this disorder.
The grape, because of its exclusive association with South Africa grows best in dry weathers and dry soils.
Best soil types can be categorised as Glenrosa and sandstone where the grape can well be grown even in drought like conditions.
Like most other grapes, its harvesting time is early season, around 17 – 28 March while it buds late.
Bukkettraube vineyards have been observed as south-west facing a lot of these are grown in the Cederberg Mountains.
The variety is high yielding, which is good for those vine farmers who work under dry conditions.
Traditionally, the trellised technique is used for these grapes since every bunch consists of compactly packed berries with medium sized grapes.
Trellised techniques require farmers to have a manual hand on plucking the grape bunches from the shoot, unlike the mechanised technique that involves machines that take half the time.
In the vinification process, the grape is exposed to its tannin structure and allowed to ferment for long hours at a certain required temperature.
Bukkettraube is allowed to vinify straight at 8C cold crushed. Skin contact is allowed for some 8 hours, after which the content is allowed to be lightly pressed and settled for some two days.
Bukkettraube is a nice sweet wine that can be taken with any sweet dessert or some mild spicy flavoured food.
Since South African cuisine is a blend of traditional African style with Germanic elements, Bukkettraube is thus naturally designed to be consumed with rustic Germanic food.
Some Alsatian and Swiss foods too are a delight with it.
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