Mauzac is a white grape variety belonging to Vitis VInifera species. This grape variety is mostly planted in the southwest of France.
Mauzac is a local variety from Gaillac, an ancient wine making region in south west France and the region that homes Mauzac is Limoux in Languedoc. Both the regions are dominated by strong wind, dry Atlantic and warm Mediterranean climate.
The soil in these regions is mostly rocky with sandstone, clay and limestone. The combination of these unique factors makes the growth of Mauzac grapes very suitable. Around 7,900 acres of land in France is dedicated to Mauzac planting.
With time Mauzac is being replaced by other grape varieties like Chardonnay. Mauzac Blanc, Caspre, Clairac, Feuille Ronde, Gaillac, Gamet Blanc, and Blanquette are the synonyms of Mauzac grapes around the world.
In Gaillac, Mauzac is blended with Len de IEI to create a sparkling white wine with light sweet taste. Limoux Mauzac is used in blending with Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc, which are the famous white grape variety.
Among various white grapes found in the wine producing regions of France, Mauzac grapes are the one that is used for Bordeaux mixing.
History of Mauzac grapes
The history of Mauzac grapes trace back to 1525 AD. It is believed that Mauzac grapes came to Limoux with Romans. Pierre Rezeau was the first ampelographer who traced the plantation of Mauzac grapes in the year 1736, in the Languedoc wine region of south west France.
The origin of the name Mauzac is not fixed.Going by what legends say, Mauzac grapes originated in the Tarn-valley and the name of the grape comes from a village near toulhouse in south west France.
Viticulture and winemaking of Mauzac grapes
Mauzac grapes are late ripening variety. The Mauzac grapes bud after a week of Chasselas (a benchmark grape variety used as a standard for measuring the period of ripening and budding of other variety grapes).
This grape variety is called period II grape variety because it ripe after about 1 month compared to Chasselas. One of the main reasons that Mauzac grapes grow abundantly in Gaillac and Limoux is their climate and soil.
The plantation of Mauzac grape variety needs rocky and limestone soil and warm-dry climate condition. Since Mauzac is a late ripening variety it needs enough summer heat to grow smoothly and the grape need proper watering too.
The berries of Mauzac grapes are medium size and slightly oblong in shape. The colors of leaves in Mauzac plant are either white or yellow with orbicular shape.
The berries and vines of this particular grape variety are not resistant to mites like acariosis but this grape is more resistant to Oidium and mildew. Late ripening of the grape means it undergoes slow fermentation and preserves residual sugar for the second fermentation in the spring.
This process is used in making fine sparkling wine from the Mauzac grapes. Some of the popular wines made from Mauzac grapes are; Saint-Hilaire Blanquette de Limoux Brut France, Domaine Collin Cremant de Limoux Languedoc France, Antech Blanquette de Limoux reserve Brut Languedoc France and many more.
Although the plantation of Mauzac grapes has declined since 1964, but the popularity of the wines has not decreased.
The amount of alcohol in these wines depend upon the wineries, generally Limoux produces wine of 7% alcohol content by volume. These wines are good in aging.
The Mauzac grape wines are bottled just after the fermentation. They are not stored for a long time before packing the wine in the bottle which makes the wine lighter and sweeter.
These wines are suitable for table wine and can be served at any occasion at a cool temperature of about 14 to 18 degree Celsius.
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