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The white grape variety comes from Southwest France; the name means "Sauvignon-like". Synonyms alphabetically grouped by country are Sauvignon Vert ( Chile ); Blanc Doux, Sauvignon de la Corrèze, Sauvignon Gros Grain, Sauvignon Vert ( France ); Friulano, Malaga, Occhio di Gatto, Tai, Tai Bianco, Tocai, Tocai Friulano, Tocai Italico, Trebbianello, Tuchì ( Italy ); Zeleni Sauvignon ( Slovenia ).

Despite apparently suggestive synonyms or morphological No similarities with the varieties Furmint (Northern Italy), Muscadelle (Sauvignon Vert in California), Riesling (Argentina and Chile) or Sauvignon Blanc (Argentina, Chile, France, Russia), which has often been the case in the countries concerned in the past. Especially in South America the confusion was great because the Sauvignonasse and Sauvignon Blanc varieties in many vineyards in the mixed sentence were planted. Under the name Friulano, the variety was a cross partner of the Italian new varieties Fleurtai and Soreli,

Sauvignonasse - grapes and leaf

The exact origin of the variety is that Gironde in the southwest France, where it was never grown on a large scale. It was often used with Sauvignon Blanc and Sémillon grown together. Today there are only remaining stocks and it no longer appears in the statistics. The parentage is unknown. According to DNA analysis it is not a direct descendant of Sauvignon Blanc, as one might suspect from the name. According to 2012 DNA analyzes, she is a parent of Saint-Pierre Doré, The early to medium ripening, productive vine is susceptible to Botrytis. bunch rot. Esca and both mildews, It produces golden-yellow, flowery white wines with aromas of herbs, citrus and almonds. They are considered less aromatic, but fuller in body and alcohol than those from Sauvignon Blanc.

The variety was introduced to northern Italy (Friuli) in the early 19th century and has long been known as Tocai . With the name one wanted the popularity of the Tokaj exploit. According to a hypothesis, the variety is said to be out Hungary originate and with the Tokaj variety Furmint be identical. This was allegedly introduced by a count Ottelio di Ariis in Friuli in 1863. A second hypothesis took the opposite path, namely that the variety was brought to Hungary by a Formentini family from Friuli. And according to a third hypothesis, the patriarch Bertoldo di Andechs sent Tocai cuttings to the Hungarian king Bela IV as early as the 13th century (1235-1270). But the variety has nothing to do with the Furmint. The ampelograph Pierre Galet (1921-2019) had long equated it with Sauvignonasse, which was confirmed by DNA analyzes carried out in 2003.

The ampelograph Giovanni Dalmasso (1886-1974) suggested Tocai Friulano in the 1930s to be confused with the Tokaj to avoid. Hungary did not agree with this. After long legal disputes, the EU decided in 2002 that the name Tocai Friulano could only be used until March 31, 2007. In contrast, the Italian authorities allowed winegrowers in Friuli to market their 2006 tocai with this name again. The reason for the controversial approval was the laborious search for the future name of the grape variety or the wine. For years the winemakers had not been able to reach an agreement despite the approaching ban. Now the grape variety in Friuli-Venezia Giulia is only called Friulano for short, in Veneto, on the other hand, Tai (the Japanese-looking name was created by omitting the letters "oc") and only in the DOC area San Martino della Battaglia Tuchì .

The variety is in Italy mainly in Friuli-Venezia Giulia, but also in many other regions such as Lazio. Lombardy and Veneto grown. It is found in DOC / DOCG wines, among others Bianco di Custoza. Breganze. Colli Euganei. Collio Goriziano. Colli Orientali del Friuli. Corti Benedettine del Padovano. Friuli Annia. Friuli Aquileia. Friuli Grave. Friuli Isonzo. Garda. Lison. Lison-Pramaggiore. Merlara. Piave. Riviera del Brenta. Rosazzo and San Martino della Battaglia authorized. The total area cultivated in Italy in 2010 was 2,911 hectares.

In Slovenia (with an area of 190 ha) there were similar naming problems as in Italy. The name Točai was first proposed, but this was also not recognized by the EU, as in Italy. The Friulano name is not used in Slovenia. The name Zeleni Sauvignon is not accepted by all winegrowers and the wine is marketed under fancy names such as Gredic, Jakot or Pikotno. There are further stocks in Russia (48 ha), as well as in Argentina (515 ha) and Chile (785 ha). A total of 4,449 hectares were designated in 2010. The variety thus occupied under various names worldwide varieties ranking rank 117.

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

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