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The hybrid grape chambourcin has a role in quality red V. vinifera blends in a New World grape growing region

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Chambourcin is a hybrid red wine grape that can consistently produce high-quality wine in many humid climate New World sites including New Jersey and much of the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Many of these regions can also produce high-quality V. vinifera-based red wine blends. This study examined the influence of chambourcin on the quality of red wine blends of V. vinifera varieties in blinded tasting sessions involving three groups: consumers, wine professionals (non-winemaking), and commercial wine makers. Consumers preferred or rated equally the chambourcin containing blend to the non-chambourcin containing blend. Among wine professionals and commercial wine makers, there was no preference among blends. Even experienced wine makers could not identify wines containing chambourcin and did not rate wines lower if they thought the wines contained chambourcin. This study suggests chambourcin does not detract and rather may enhance high-quality red wine blends and further suggests that wine blend categorization may be better based on hedonic character and not grape genetic heritage. Inclusion of high-quality hybrid grapes, like chambourcin, in red blends of V. vinifera may enhance sustainability of viticulture in New World grape growing regions without sacrifice in the quality of wine that can be produced.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Outer Coastal Plain Vineyard Association, Bridgeton, NJ, USA 2: Rutgers Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Bridgeton, NJ, USA

Publication date: October 2, 2017

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