Saturday, 21 July 2018

Wild grapes.



Several years ago I found a vine on the edge of some nearby woodland; I imagine it was the remnant of some ancient, long-lost, vineyard.

The vine itself was totally disease free, and its white grapes were delicious even though they were filled with pips. The leaves were much thicker and bigger than 'ordinary' vines, so I took some cuttings, and the results, above, now grow on the perimeter wall of the pool.

The flavour of the grapes is very unusual. I remember a neighbour giving me some many years ago, whilst we were wine-making, and explaining to me that they were a banned variety. I've never forgotten the taste, and these ones are the same as his. His vineyard is now long-gone too, and I imagine that the grape variety is in danger of disappearing.

The grapes have a taste of Ether, and their inclusion in with other wine-making varieties was halted quite a long time ago. Unfortunately I am unable to find the name of the variety; it seems to have been deleted from history.

I take a few cutting every year, and give them to whoever wants them. They grow like crazy, and are amazingly productive! If you want a plant; pop round!



29 comments:

  1. Grapes - it matters if I am eating, drinking, or looking at them. Eating, I like sweet. Drinking I like dry. As a garden accessory, if it grows where and how I want it, it is perfect, if not, I pull it out.

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    1. Sounds like a good rule of thumb. These are quite sweet, they don't make wine, they are attractive to look at, and they are extremely rampant!

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  2. This is a mystery. I wonder why they were banned ?
    How amazing you have history growing in your yard.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. I think the wine big-wigs didn't allow them to be part of the 'acceptable' varieties for wine-making. They are very strict about such things; to their detriment!

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  3. I wish I could come and take a plant.

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    1. I wish you could too. I was thinking about you this morning. x

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    2. That's why i like blogland so much.

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  4. angryparsnip has asked my question. Is it something to do with the taste of Ether? Whatever that is.
    As the leader of one of our political parties might say "Please explain."
    Alphie

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    1. They probably thought it would drive people mad; or put them to sleep!

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  5. I'm not sure I like the taste of ether but perhaps it would keep the wasps away!

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    1. They are surprisingly tasty; the ether taste is a bit like the artificial flavours you find in sweets.

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  6. heard of wild oats - is this the French equivalent? In fact rather a nice double act for the wayward French teenager (or man having a mid life crisis). But as wine making is such a very large part of the French economy then presumably the big growers would make sure nothing like this crept in to 'mar' their wines. I like French wine above all other - not that I drink much these days but always thought it was the best - still do.

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    1. Whilst looking for the name of this variety, I came across another one that was also banned because it was TOO FRUITY; it had a taste of Plum Jam. I'm sure I've had wine made from them; it was like drinking Plum juice.

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  7. The French are very touchy about their grapes. Two Japanese men who arrived some years ago and bought a neglected vineyard and were having success with their new variety of wine after investing $100,000 were refused credit at the bank and have been told to leave France.

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    1. That doesn't surprise me. I know that certain Aussie 'Flying wine makers' have found themselves in trouble. Wine making has moved on, and many of the French refuse to follow. The old idea of calling a wine by where it comes from, and not by grape variety, has held them back terribly.

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  8. It looks good. Not sure I would like to eat grapes tasting of ether or drink wine for that matter.

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    1. They are surprisingly good to eat; apart from the pips!

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  9. Ether or either, nether or neither with wine(good) so inexpensive to buy and eating grapes as seasonally abundant let's just call it an interesting hedge.
    I've just lost the plot about spelling.

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    1. It is an interesting hedge; it also contains wild Peaches!

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  10. We have a wine in our Veneto region called Clinto, in our dialect Grintón, which is banned, made from Clinto grapes (a cross between vitis Riparia e Vitis Lambrusca). They are purple grapes and stain a lot. Usually family wine is made from them. These vines grow in many back gardens.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. Sounds interesting. I know that a lot of wine is made in France from banned varieties, but they can't be sold.

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  11. Replies
    1. Apparently Bacchus had a holiday home nearby!

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  12. Do you get enough grapes on your vine to make wine for yourself?
    I haven't quite understood this. Could they tell you to chop your vine down in case it cross-pollinated with official varieties?

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    1. We have loads of grapes, but they're all more for decoration than eating/wine making. We make juice from them, otherwise they end-up on the compost. No they can't tell us what to do, but they can insist that wine-makers don't use them in their mixture of varieties.

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  13. What a great mystery. If I wasn't thopusands of miles away I'd pop in for sure to get a cutting. We have four vines growing over a trellis mad from hog panels. I know very little of wine, I'm a whiskey chick, but I do love standing under the trellis and eating the grapes for breakfast.

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    1. They look so beautiful too, we have them growing all over the place; even around Haddock's.

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  14. Found this interesting article, Cro. https://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/25/business/worldbusiness/winemakers-protect-outlawed-vines-the-grapes-of-wrath.html

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  15. i like so much...Thanks for sharing the good information!
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