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Name and Etymology:
Colombard comes from the Saintongeais dialect.  It is related to “dove” or “pigeon” no doubt because of the colour of its berries or because there might be a relationship between its date of maturity and the first migrations of migrating pigeons.

There are very few synonyms; we only find “Pied tendre”, Queue tendre”, or yet “Bon blanc”.

Colour:    White

Geographical origin:
This vine originates from the Charentes; more precisely from the Borderies to the North of Cognac.  It still remains a distillation vine but its vocation has rather been the elaboration of dry white wines aimed at Northern Europe.

Recent genetic studies state that it is derived from the crossing of a Gouais Blanc and a Chenin Blanc.

Appellations using it:
From its native Charentes, Colombard has colonized Gironde then Gascogne where it has become one of the star vines in the making of aromatic dry white wines.  Superseded in qualitative terms by the results obtained with Folle Blanche or Ugni Blanc, its use as a “boiler wine” has strongly declined.

Production potential:
Formerly used for distillation, its character as a strong yielder was very appreciated. Today, the conduct of the vine has changed and winemakers try to exploit its aromatic potential as much as possible.  Its aromatic family is identical to Sauvignon Blanc or Mansengs.  With maturity, this vine is sensitive to Oïdum and to grey rot so it is best harvested as soon as it becomes mature.

Best examples and Oenological potential:
Colombard wines are wines dominated by an aromatic vivacity and exuberance.   They are best drunk young with exotic fruit & citrus aromas.  With evolution, we note the appearance of softer notes such as yellow peach and acacia flower.


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Lionel Osmin et Cie - 9 rue ADA BYRON - 64000 PAU