This grape variety originating from the Charentes is difficult to attach to a family, perhaps that of the Gouais like the Muscadelle. From the Charentes, it spread to the Gironde and more recently to the Gers for the production of “Vin de Pays”.
Its vines have cottony white buds with a pinkish point and young yellowish downy leaves with tan patches. Leaves are three-lobed with very open V-shaped petiolar sinus. It produces winged medium size bunches with ovoid grapes.
Aromas are of citrus fruits, boxwood, lime, white flowers, exotic fruits, nectarine, grapefruit, peach, rhubarb…
The eaux de vie produced with this grape variety are slightly fragrant; its primary aromas are, however, pleasantly typical of the white wines of Gascony. Its early budburst makes it sensitive to spring frosts, and it is very sensitive to Botrytis cinerea (grey rot) at harvest time.
In Charentes and Entre-deux-Mers, it had partially replaced Folle Blanche. Introduced timidly in Madiran region at the beginning of the 20th century, it have given way everywhere in favor of more noble grape varieties except for “Côtes d’Gascogne“.
This typically Gascon grape variety, a cross between Chenin and Gouais, produces wines with intense aromas of citrus and exotic fruits. Today, Colombard is mainly used in the elaboration of Côtes de Gascogne and Armagnac. Because of the recognized quality of the wines they produce, this grape variety is developing worldwide.
Production area: 7,689 ha (19,000 acres)