AN INTERSPECIFIC GRAPE VARIETY TAKES TOP PRIZE

Situated in the far western part of the Czech Republic, the B\V winery came away last year with the Revelation trophy for the best white wine competing in the Concours Mondial de Bruxelles. The wine is made from the little-known Hibernal grape variety which is widely used in the region. In South Moravia, two-thirds of vineyard acreage is planted to white grapes.

The 63 hectares of vineyards belonging to the Babicek/Vacenovsky winery are located in the villages of Ratíškovice and Mutěnice, in the heart of the vineyard sub-region of Slovácká. The Hibernal grape variety used for the award-winning wine was grown in Ratíškovice. Director Vlastimil Valenta was not expecting to win the award but feels it offers the opportunity to raise awareness of this type of grape variety. “It was a lovely surprise for us to receive an award for this wine because it is not made from a traditional European grape variety. Nevertheless, when we were selecting wines to enter in the competition, we knew it was an excellent wine, both for its aromas and its harmonious characters”.

A little-known grape variety

Hibernal is an interspecific vine variety (PiWi) produced by a genetic crossing of the varieties Seibel 7053 and Riesling clone 239. The variety is currently very popular and widely grown in the Czech Republic. In 2015, it was grown over 194 hectares, rising to 301 ha in 2018, an increase of 55% in just three years. “Hibernal is well-suited to producing quality wines with distinctive features. Its resistance to powdery mildew (Uncinula necator) has also made it suitable for producing organic wines because no chemical spraying is required in the summer. Hibernal is very hardy and able to withstand very hard winter frosts, hence its name, derived from the Latin hibernus for winter. The variety is very changeable depending on where it is grown. By selecting the fruit, overall harmony between acidity and residual sugar and robust body can be achieved”.

The award-winning wine

The wine selected for the trophy at last year’s Concours Mondial de Bruxelles is called B\V vinarstvi Hibernal, vyber z hroznu 2015. It boasts stellar yellow highlights and it exudes intense blackcurrant notes and passion fruit. Its flavour is harmonious and juicy with a whiff of gooseberry and a touch of citrus fruit. Its ability to evolve over time also makes it very attractive.

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