Divico, Agroscope’s new disease-resistant grape variety, is noted for the quality of its wines. Blending trials with the Pinot Noir variety have shown that Divico is also highly suitable for correcting colour intensity in the latter.
Grown on a surface area of nearly 3900 ha in 2020, Pinot Noir is the most cultivated grape variety in Switzerland, widespread throughout all wine regions north of the Alps. Its reputation is founded on the delicacy and typicality of its bouquet, dominated by fruity notes and a good structure associated with a very soft, velvety tannin profile. Visually, it is sometimes marred by a colour often rated as slightly weak in intensity. In Switzerland, certain teinturier (‘dyer’) grape varieties such as Dakapo and Dunkelfelder are grown whose wines, when used in low percentages in blends, can improve the colour of Pinot Noir. In 2013, moreover, Agroscope authorised a first red grape variety resistant to downy and powdery mildew as well as botrytis blight – Divico – the characteristics of whose wines are likely to make it a promising candidate for this use.
In a trial conducted on the Agroscope experimental farms in Changins and Pully, a 10% blend of Divico with Pinot Noir was compared to blends with the Dakapo and Dunkelfelder grape varieties to determine the ability of each to improve Pinot Noir colour.
Promising results for Divico in Pinot Noir colour intensity improvement study
The study concludes that, in terms of colour improvement when blended with Pinot Noir, Divico is on a par with the Dakapo and Dunkelfelder grape varieties commonly used for this purpose. Furthermore, the highly favourable agronomic characteristics of Divico, particularly its resistance to diseases of the vine, make it a highly promising candidate which could soon become the gold standard for this purpose.
- Agroscope studied the improvement of wine colour intensity in blends made with Pinot Noir, Dakapo, Divico and Dunkelfelder grape varieties.
- The blending trials with the three grape varieties produced wines with interesting qualities and a similar phenolic composition.
- The sensory analysis of the three blending trials showed a distinct improvement in colour intensity, structure and tannin intensity, as well as a general impression of a less- pronounced bitterness and a higher hedonic note than for Pinot Noir on its own.
- Owing to its highly favourable agronomic characteristics and in particular to its resistance to downy and powdery mildew as well as botrytis blight, the grape variety Divico is suitable for blends for correcting the colour intensity of Pinot Noir wines.