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Unformatted text preview: nnay, or Merlot, for example, is used as
the predominant grape (usually defined by law
as a minimum of 75 or 85%) the result is a
varietal, as opposed to a blended wine. Blended
wines are in no way inferior to varietal wines;
indeed, some of the world's most valued and
expensive wines from the Bordeaux, Rioja or
Tuscany regions, are a blend of several grape
varieties of the same vintage. Wine can also be made from other species or
from hybrids, created by the genetic crossing of
two species. Vitis labrusca, Vitis aestivalis, Vitis
rupestris, Vitis rotundifolia and Vitis riparia are
native North American grapes, usually grown
for eating as fresh fruit or made into grape juice,
jam, or jelly, but sometimes made into wine, e.g.
‘Concord’ wine (Vitis labrusca species).
Although generally prohibited by law in
traditional wine regions, French-American
hybrids are planted in substantial numbers in
cool-climate viticultural areas. Hybrids are not to be confused with the practice
of grafting. Most of the world's vineyards are
planted with European V. vinifera vines that
have been grafted onto North American species
rootstocks. This is common practice because
North American grape species are resistant to
phylloxera (a root louse). Grafting is done in
every wine-producing country of the World
except for Chile and Argentina, which have yet
to be exposed to the insect. Fighting the "phylloxera plague" Fighting the "phylloxera plague" In the late 1800s the phylloxera epidemic destroyed most of the wine grape vineyards in Europe, most notably in France. Phylloxera was inadvertently introduced to Europe in the 1860s, possibly on imported North American plants. Because Phylloxera is native to North America, the native grape species there are at least partially resistant. By contrast, the European wine grape Vitis vinifera is very susceptible to the aphidlike insect. The epidemic devastated most of the European wine growing industry. Some estimate...
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- Fall '11