Chambourcin

A French-American hybrid grape popular for making wine, Chambourcin was first produced in 1963 by Joannes Seyve, a member of a family known for its development of other wine making grapes. It was popular in the 1970s in the Bordeaux and Loire Valley French regions and is still a popular alternative to red wine in Bordeaux today. The grape is extremely resistant to fungal disease and parent to another disease resistant grape, Regent, which is popular among grape growers in Germany.

The wine produced from Chambourcin grapes is deep colored and full of an aromatic flavor. Unlike some interspecific hybrid grapes, it does not have any unpleasant hybrid flavors. The grape is used in both a dry style wine and a moderate sugar wine, which has a pleasant sweetness. Enjoyed as a rich, concentrated spicy red wine when yields are low, Chambourcin is often paired with desserts made from dark chocolate, perfect for an after dinner treat during a romantic evening. The flavors of the grape and chocolate go together quite well.

Chambourcin grapes are grown primarily in the North America mid-Atlantic region in cooler climates. Vineyards are found in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina and Pennsylvania as well as Canada. Other states include Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, West Virginia, Illinois, Indiana and Missouri. It has also been known to grow in Australia and France, although EEU guidelines in Europe do not allow for the blending of traditional varieties with hybrid wines. As a result, Europe has not expanded Chambourcin much beyond that of a low quality table wine.

Chambourcin grapes grown in Australia are found in small wineries around the Riverina region and New South Wales. The wine in Australia is a dark purple color and unlike most hybrids, produces longer depth. Wine enthusiasts who drink the Australian-produced Chambourcin wine enjoy a full-bodied taste.

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