Vin de France & Grape Varieties


Encyclopedia of French Grape Varieties

{ White Wine }


In all likelihood, Bourboulenc originally comes from southeastern France. This is also the region where it is most commonly planted

Bourboulenc does not have any specific varietal aroma.

Wines produced
Bourboulenc is used to make wines of moderately intense flavor. It has a low level of alcohol for a Mediterranean variety, enabling it to be blended with other varieties to make finer wines. If harvested too early, it has a thin, flat quality. In the Mediterranean region, when fully ripe, it gives wines that have great body and depth.

Areas planted
It is grown as a secondary variety in southeastern France, in the region between Avignon and Fréjus, as well as on the southwestern Mediterranean coast. In 2006, 661 hectares were produced in France.

Budding and ripening
Bourboulenc buds on average 4 days after Chasselas, which serves as a benchmark for measuring the budding and ripening times of grape varieties. It ripens late: it is a Period III variety, as it ripens four and half weeks after Chasselas. For this reason, it is planted strictly in the Mediterranean area.

Bourboulenc has average fertility. It must be pruned rather short and produced in limited quantities to give quality wines. It needs to be trained due to its drooping growth pattern.

Preferred soils
This variety from southwestern France grows well in dry, poor soils with little water.

Ideal Climate
A Southern grape variety well adapted to hot, very sunny soils, it is highly resistant to drought. Due to its slow ripening, it requires a lot of heat and sunlight at the end of its ripening period, and needs the right exposure to reach full ripeness.

Susceptibility to disease and pests
Bourboulenc resists well against gray mold due to its thick skin, but is sensitive to oidium.

Bourboulenc is used only to produce wine.

Distinctive features
To identify Bourboulenc, we must look at the tips of its new shoots, which are characterized by many flat-lying hairs. As well, its young leaves are yellow with bronze patches. Its adult leaves are pentagonal with three lobes. The petiolar sinus has highly overlapping lobes with a tooth at the edge of the leaf. The central lobe, at the tip of the leaf, is elongated and has teeth that are short compared to their width at the base. The leaf blade has a bubbled texture, and is matte. The leaf blade is wavy between the veins near the petiolar point. On the underside of the leaf, there is a moderately dense cover of flat-lying and upright hairs. Bourboulenc’s berries are oblong and have a thick skin.

Clones marketed
The two officially authorized Bourboulenc clones (specifically called Bourboulenc B) are numbered 541 and 1002.

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