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Gros Manseng grapes

by | Oct 18, 2016

Gros Manseng is a white wine grape which is a member of Manseng family and produced primarily in South West France.

Gros Manseng

The manseng family resembles the Traminer family or the Pinot family. The initial member of the Manseng family was Manseng Noir, a grape grown in Southwest France, which is deep in color and very tannic.

Wine grape varieties

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Origin and History of Grape

Originally Gros Manseng comes from the southwestern region of France, primarily from the Bearn province near Pau. Gros Manseng was originated from the western Pyrenees.

For a long duration, it was produced only in its real place of origin, in Pyrenean Piedmont and has only been exported recently.

This grape is an early budding variety, as its time of budding is same as the benchmark variety- Chasselas. However, it is late in terms of ripening. It ripens after 4 weeks of ripening of chasselas, which makes it a group VI variety.

This white grape is mostly used in Pacherenc, Jurancon, the Cotes de Gascogne, Irouleguy and Saint Mont to make crisply fruity, highly fragrant and dry whites, the best of which are indeed attractive.

Regions Where Gros Manseng Grape is Grown

Gros Manseng is grown particularly in South West France, in the French Basque region, in Bearn and southern Gascony.

After disappearing nearly with 58 hectares in 1958, the production has continuously elevated since 1970s, gaining 2800 hectares in 2006.

It produces dry wines in the Bearn and Jurancon regions of Southwest France. It is permitted in the Cotes de Gascogne, in the Pachernc du Vic-Bilk Appellation d’origine controlee (AOC) and in the Floc de Gascogne. Gros Manseng is grown in the southern part of aquitine.

And the favorable soil is clay-limestone i.e., those that are supplied with water and are enough deep to resist extra heat, mainly in the midsummer.

Gros Manseng from the Atlantic region can tolerate relatively high humidity and does well in Atlantic regions.

Its late, long ripening period needs relative dryness and heat. The primarily sunny, dry late summers of the southern Aquitine area provides it favorable condition.

Synonyms for Gros Manseng grape

Gros Manseng is also famous under the synonyms of Ichiriota Zuria Handia, Gros Mansenc Blanc, Manseng Gros Blanc, Ichirita Zuriahandla, Petit-Manseng, Handia and Gros  Manseng Blanc.

Characteristics of Gros Manseng grape

The berries of Gros Manseng are larger. This grape is widely grown spread out about 2000 hectares in the Southwest region of France.
The Gros Manseng plantings are so high exactly because there are larger berry clusters and larger berries.

This means that from one vine a good amount of juice can be extracted. The grape has a very thick skin which implies that it must be handled carefully in the winery to make sure that the extra tannins are not taken out during the process of pressing. Gros manseng is mostly used to produce dry table wines.

Characteristics of Gros Manseng grape wine

Gros Manseng wines are particularly dark and immensely flavored with floral and fruit tastes and aromas, typically of quince and apricot, along with flowers and spices.

This variety produces dry wines with lemony flavors. The wines are completely acidic and medium- to full bodied.

The quality of the wine depends on the vineyard practices: Gros Manseng when picked early will produce easy, light wines with 11.5-12% alcohol content marked by a floral quality, fresh-fruit; grapes picked in the late time make the wines with an alcohol content of 12.5-13.5% and have much powerful aromas and “big wine” flavors.

The alcohol level is therefore a good test for the style of any specific bottling. In spite of the thick skin, Gros Manseng does require gentle treatment in the process of winemaking.

The juice of this grape is grey-colored unlike several wine grapes, which imply that it is already prone to make intensely golden colored wines with least skin contact.

If the grapes are squashed too roughly or the grapes are present in complete contact with the skins, the consequent wines will be very uneven with high levels of polyphenols and tannins.

Food Pairings with Gros Manseng Grape wine

Gros Manseng grape wine can be paired with different dishes like green salad and chili paneer.


Michael Bredahl

Michael Bredahl

Wine Writer

I have been online since it all began, with blogging and creating websites. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one of my passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂

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