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Transplanting old vines

Just came across this story via Christina’s Twitter feed. Very cool.
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https://www.jancisrobinson.com/articles/wwc21-alans-alicante-california

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Indeed ! As for the digging involved :grimacing:

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2,300* 10 foot holes dug by hand in sand and not a single plant lost!

Must say, I’m not familiar with this grape variety, but find it curious they end up in a Zinfandel wine.

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Alicante Bouschet is one of the early human crossed varieties, the Bouschets were nurseryman in 19thC France. Alicante Bouschet is a cross of Grenache and Petite Bouschet which the Bouschets earlier created by crossing Aramon Noir with Teinturier.

TWS have listed a varietal Alicante Bouschet in the past, currently he only hit I get is for a Portuguese blend with 40% Alicante Bouschet - Quinta da Fonte Souto, Alentejo 2017
Quinta da Fonte Souto, Alentejo 2017 (thewinesociety.com)

The wine that the article’s Alicante Bouschet is going into is the Cline Ancient Vines Zinfandel. I had one earlier this year and thought it was superb, but when I went to get more the shop had sold out and decided to replace it with anther Zin. They offered to get it especially or me but I’d have to buy 6 and I declined.

Alicante Bouschet is a rare teinturier variety, meaning the grape has red flesh and juice and thus makes very dark wines, and it’s often used to add colour to pale reds.

Varietally labelled wines can contain up to 15% of other unnamed varieties.

I’ve been drinking Zinfandel since the early 1980’s and have come to the conclusion that a better wine is made from Zinfandel when it is blended or co-fermented with other complementary varieties. A lot of the 100+ year old Zinfandel vineyards in California in fact contain a mix of varieties.

I was thus pleased when, in a seminar and practical blending exercise with Joel Peterson (founder of Ravenswood and owner of Once & Future), found he was of the same opinion and we tried a 100% Zin then tried blending it with small amounts of other varieties - and better tasting wines were made IMO. (see my blog at Petes-Pix: AWS Conference 2019

Ridge - probably the best and certainly the most famous exponent of Zinfande,l - best examples are Zin with a small amount of other varieties.

Unfortunately TWS don’t currently list any Ridge Zins (they sell out almost instantly) and the only Once & Future Zin is the Oakley Road vineyard which is 100% Zin.

PS: Thanks for the link to the article @Brocklehurstj , very interesting. Joel Peterson ahs also lamented the loss of these old vineyards. The one in Oakley Road - Contra Costa County - a were planted on the late 1800s on their own roots and survived Phylloxera because they’re planted on. He wrote on his site Once and Future Wine

These Oakley Road vines may not be around much longer. This part of Contra Costa (CoCo for short) is changing rapidly. It has been an industrial backwater for a long time. High tension electrical lines, a PG&E power plant, and motels that rent by the hour stand in contrast to an inordinate number of churches and an increasing reality of fast food restaurants that populate a disjointed human landscape. There is increasing urbanization as roads are widened and BART pushes east. Many of these vineyards are for sale with inflated land prices, having been designated as commercial land—the result being land costs that are more compatible with strip malls than farming. For now, the vines remain in the ground, producing viticultural treasure. And for now, we continue to make lovely wine and cherish our moment.

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