Len de l’El B (a.k.a. Loin de l’Oeil)

@ Gilles Cattiau / INRA

This grape variety spelled “Lenc dé L’En” in Viala and Vermorel (1910) comes from the Gaillac region where it represented 30% of the vine stock before 1870. It can be associate with Colloid family. For a long time it was supplanted in Gaillac by Mauzac, which produced sweet and sparkling wines.

Today, it’s only cultivated in Gaillac, where it has regained ground in recent years.

The translation from Occitan “Luénh de l’Uèlh”, whose regional pronunciation is /lèn dé l’èl/, means “far from the eye” (i.e. far from the bud). Its name comes from the remoteness of the first bunch from the branch that bore it. This distance is also accentuated by the length of the peduncle that supports the bunch.

Len de l’El has green fluffy budding and young, greenish, aranous leaves. Mature leaves are highly indented with five to seven lobes. Its petiolar sinus is closed, and the lateral sinuses are very marked in mass. Ovoid shaped grapes are found in its long bunches.

It’s a vigorous grape variety that buds early and ripens before Mauzac and gives very fine dry white wines with elegant, rather floral aromas.

It is also more and more used in the elaboration of sweet and syrupy wines, thanks to its remarkable ability to concentrate sugar and savors on the vine (late harvest).

Production area: 633 ha (1,565 acres)

@ Gilles Cattiau / INRA