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Ugni blanc

ungni-blanc

Name and etymology:
Ugni Blanc is the result of a sequence of linguistic deformations.  Now masculine, Ugni would in fact be derived from the Occitan Unia, a term with a feminine gender directly derived from the latin Eugenia.

Synonyms:
Ugni Blanc is itself a synonym because the “real” name of the vine is Trebbiano Toscano.  The latter actually refers to the geographical origin of this transalpine vine.  In the South West, we find it under the name of Saint Emilion des Charentes (in the Gers), Muscadet (Entre-Deux-Mers) or even Cadillate or Castillonne (Gironde).

Colour: White

Geographical origin:
It is said to come from Campanie in Southern Italy.  It was quoted as early as the Roman period by Pline who named it Trébulanus.  It then spread throughout Italy to reach Provence around the fourteenth century.  It was then brought step by step towards the oceanic front due to its ability to produce consistently. It was quoted as early as 1730 in Cadillac, Gironde.

Appellations using it and / or major production areas abroad:
This vine is especially present in the Southern perimeter. In France, Ugni Blanc is appreciated for various reasons.  In Provence, it brings its natural acidity to compensate for the lack of freshness of local vines.  In the South West, it is appreciated for its ability to produce good distillation wines.

Production potential:
It’s a naturally generous vine which has enabled it to supersede Folle Blanche or even Baco Blanc in vineyards producing brandies.  As a matter of fact, Ugni Blanc is able to produce in large quantities acidic, low in alcohol wines which keep easily and are not too aromatic.  However, if the vineyard management is not strict, Ugni Blanc is able to give wines rather rich and complex blending well with local vines such as Colombard or Sauvignon.

Best expressions / Oenological potential:
It is rare to find pure Ugni Blanc wines; Ugni Blanc is often blended with more aromatic wines.  It then brings its volume and finesse and support to the aromas of blended wines.  In distilling, it produces fine brandies suitable for ageing.

 

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