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Chelois grapes

by Dec 15, 20160 comments

Chelois is a hybrid red wine producing grape variety grown in the Finger Lakes district in New York.


It is made from two varieties of grape namely Roi de Noirs and Bienvenu. Both these varieties are Siebel cultivars. Due to this fact Chelois grape is also known as Seibel 10878 in some areas.

The wines made from Chelois grape have a good acidic level, which is why the grape is in demand in the region. It is used in the making of Chancellor, Baco Noir and Chambourcin.

It is also found as a varietal, but the production of varietals is not very high. The Chelois grape is an important variety, though the vines are tough to maintain and preserve.

The cross was not as successful as it was supposed to be as the vine hazards are still very common in the grape, but it was successful in creating a unique taste which is largely used in the blending of a number of important red wines.

Wine grape varieties

The grape is in demand and so the experiments are being carried out to take away the vine hazards from the grape and make it an ideal red wine producing grape variety.

The demand for red wines keeps on increasing and decreasing and so does the production. It must be made sure that the production never goes to zero!

If this happens the grape will lose all of its hard earned reputation in the market and will only be left as a name in the record of extinct wine grape varieties. The flavours of the wine must be at least tasted once.

Origin of Chelois

The grape was originated in Ardeche in France and was later spread to parts of the United States where it is now cultivated. Other details related to the history of the grape are still not known.

Who first made the cross or how the grape was brought from France to New York is yet to be confirmed. But the most common conclusion made is that the hybrid was made by Mr. Seibel, who used to mix a number of grape varieties in order to make a superior quality grape.

He wanted to mix the winter hardness of American grapes with tasty flavours of French grapes. In 1980s the demand for red wine went down in New York, which resulted in a major decline in production of Chelois grape.

But then in 1990s the demand went up again which lead to a resurgence of interest in the grape.

Features of Chelois

Chelois buds are blue-black in colour and they grow in medium-sized, compact clusters.

The vines of Chelois gape are healthy, productive and vigorous but to prevent over cropping cluster thinning is a must.

The grape is not very suitable to winters and problems such as berry splitting and bunch rotting may be common if the season gets too wet!

The buds are plucked early so as to reduce the risk of rotting. These grapes are also spoiled under rains so drier vineyards are best for the plantation of Chelois.

The wines give flavours of dark fruits which attracts many wine consumers. French grapes are known to produce tasty wines which are why the hybrid was made to infuse the quality tastes of French wines with strong resistance of American wines.

Food pairing

Wines with high acidic level do not face trouble while finding the correct food match. They can be paired with dishes having a little higher amount of salt.

Chelois can be cherished with vegetable salads and also with mozzarella cheese. It can also be taken with pasta with olives and peanuts.

This wine is taken with sushi in many regions as it complements its taste. You can also enjoy Chelois grape wine with sweet and salty kettle corns.

Cheese balls and pretzels will taste good when taken with this wine. Potato dishes are also usually enjoyed with wines made from Chelois grape.

You can try this wine by buying it from the local shops in the area or by ordering it online. It will be available as per the availability of the stock.

If you are tired from the same old taste of the wines, you must give a try to this variety as it will definitely give you some new flavours!

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Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

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 🙂

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