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July 14, 2006

Florida Grape Finds Success in Texas

Patrick Pierquet on the grape breeders list passed along this article on 'Blanc du Bois':

Texas winemakers find success in award-winning wine made from UF’s hardy grape (U of F press release)

'Blanc du Bois' does indeed make a darn fine wine...I've sampled it both from Lakeridge Winery and experimental batches made by the Florida A&M University breeding program. (Which, incidentally, is quite a nice program. It's relatively new, so I hadn't heard much, but I had the pleasure of visiting early this year, and I was quite impressed.) I've got a vine of it in my yard, and while it grows just fine, the thing is a disease and insect magnet. It may be Pierce's Disease resistant, which is a major plus, but it sure isn't resistant to most things. Still, most other things can be kept in check with chemicals, while Pierce's disease is a pretty serious barrier to southern viticulture.

Note: I'm not 100% sure, and I don't have access to my notes on the subject where I am at the moment, but I'm pretty certain they have the pedigree wrong. There is no muscadine in 'Blanc du Bois'. (There is, however, another Florida hybrid with muscadine and bunch grapes in its background, that being 'Southern Home').

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