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The red grape variety comes from France, The name is probably from the French word for blackbird (Merle) derived, because these birds like to snack on the very ripe berries. The name can also be an allusion to the black-blue color of the berries similar to the bird. There are over 60 Synonyms, which testify to the worldwide distribution. The most important are Alicante Noir, Bigney, Black Alicante, Blue Merlot, Bordò, Crabutet, Crabutet Noir, Hebigney, Médoc Noir, Merlau, Merlot Black, Merlot Blue, Merlot Crni, Merlot Nero, Merlot Noir, Merlot, Merlou, Picard, Pikard, Plant Médoc, Semillon Rouge, Vidal and Vitraille.

Merlot - grape and leaf

It may, despite seemingly suggestive synonyms or morphological Similarities do not match the varieties Carmenère or Menoir be confused. As Carmenère and Merlot vines are very similar in appearance, vines imported overseas in the vineyard were very often planted in a mixed set. Because of this, you kept in Chile The variety Carmenère falsely long time for one sport from Merlot.

Already in the year 1999 Dr. med. Ferdinand Regner (Austria) took place DNA analysis as a Merlot parent Cabernet Franc (Father) has been identified. But only ten years later, in 2009, Jean-Michel Boursiquot as second parent the species Magdeleine Noire des Charentes (Mother) determined. The sorts Abouriou. Cabernet Sauvignon. Carmenère and Cot (Malbec) have at least one parent in common with Merlot. The varieties Merlot Gris and Merlot Rosa discovered in Brazil in the early 1980s are colored mutations, The variety Merlot Blanc whereas Merlot x is from an intersection Folle Blanche emerged.

Merlot is due to its potential and resistance to the real mildew a popular breed. She was a partner of the new breeds artaban. Artzebat. Carmine. Cosmo. Ederena. Erilon. fertilia. Incrocio Bruni 452. Incrocio Terzi 1. Laurot. Malverina. Mamaia. Mendeleum. Mendioberena. Merlese. Merlot Kanthus. Merlot Khorus. Negru de Yaloven. nigra. Plamennyi. Prodest. Rebo. Rigotti. Sennen and Voltis, She was also for Breeding base used. From a probably natural cross between Cabernet Franc x Merlot is the variety Caberlot emerged.

A first mention under the name Crabutet Noir allegedly dates back to the 14th century. Under the name Merlau or Merlot she was first in 1784 in the area Libourne mentioned documentary and was one of the most important Bordeaux varieties at that time. In the Italian region Veneto The variety was mentioned in 1855 under the synonym Bordò. A first complete description was made by Victor Rendu (1809-1877) in 1857 in his work "Ampélographie Française".

The early to mid-seasoning vine is prone to Verrieseln, Wrong mildew and Botrytis, as well as sensitive to spring frost and drought, but very resistant to powdery mildew. It produces full-bodied red wines with gentle tannins and diverse fruit and herbal aromas of plum, ivy, caramel, Black cherry, raspberry and Cassis (blackcurrant). The variety is often used as an optimal supplement for Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc as a fruit-inducing, tannin-mitigating factor.

In France, it is the most common grape variety and especially in the regions Bordeaux and Languedoc-Roussillon widespread. In the fields of Graves. Saint-Emilion and Pomerol it is the main ingredient of the great reds and im Médoc Partner in the Bordeaux blend, In Pomerol, the famous red wines from the two wineries are made into it Château Pétrus and Château Le Pin almost varietal pressed, the best and most expensive red wines in the world counting. The acreage in France totals 115,746 hectares.

Merlot - vineyards in Stabio in the canton of Ticino (Switzerland)

In Italy occupies 28,042 hectares, especially in the northern half. Other countries are Algeria (1,510 ha), Bulgaria (10,573 ha), Germany (469 ha), England (2 ha), Greece (1,248 ha), Croatia (780 ha), Moldova (8,123 ha), Montenegro. Austria (649 ha), Portugal (772 ha), Romania (10,988 ha), Russia (1,588 ha), Switzerland (1,028 ha), Slovenia (996 ha), Spain especially Aragon, Catalonia, Navarra and La Mancha (15,540 ha), Czech Republic (90 ha), Turkey (355 ha), Ukraine (2,820 ha), Hungary (1.907 ha) and Cyprus (63 ha).

There are stocks in overseas Argentina (6,282 ha), Australia (10,028 ha), Bolivia (30 ha), Brazil (766 ha), Chile (10,041 ha), China (3,560 ha), India. Israel. Japan (817 ha), Canada (999 ha), Mexico (391 ha), New Zealand (1,369 ha), Peru (2 ha), South Africa (6,497 ha) and Uruguay (875 ha), as well as in the US States California (18,924 ha), new York. Oregon. Texas. Virginia and Washington (3,334 ha). Merlot has nearly doubled the stock of 154,752 hectares in 1990 to 267,169 hectares in 2010 over the past 20 years. This is the variety in the worldwide Varieties ranking behind the Cabernet Sauvignon and before the Airén on rank 2.

Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Bruehl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)

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