Lenoir (sometimes called "Black Spanish") is a grape grown in South Texas, where it has excellent disease resistance and makes good red port wine. But DNA analysis reveals it is the same grape as "Jacquez Madeira," an old hybrid grape with both European and American roots.
Herbemont (named for an important early American grape breeder) is a white grape that also derived from Jacquez Madeira, and also makes a (white) Madeira-like wine in the SE United States.
Jacquez Madeira's Vitis vinifera parent appears to be Cabernet Franc, and its other genes are from two American grapes (aestivalis and cineara). Apparently that cross occurred in the wild in the SE US, and the grape was taken to the Madeira Islands in the early 1700s!
So Madeira, a classic European winegrape (which might make the world's most-ageable wine, with many examples still tasting good after 300-400 years!) apparently arose in the US and contains significant US grape genes!
Read the story here.
(photo credit: iStock)
Two more examples why you should be VERY cautious before paying, say, $25 or more for a bottle of wine:
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