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May 1, 2013 | 10:34 AM

André Dubosc, the founder of the Producteurs Plaimont Cooperative Winery, said:

“The Pédebernade vines are remarkable examples of biodiversity and genetic resilience. A recent article describing DNA analysis of grapevines by INRA researchers in Montpellier (“Genetic structure in cultivated grapevines is linked to geography and human selection,” published in the February 2013 issue of BMC Plant Biology) shows that many of France’s grape varieties originated in the Pyrenees region.”

Read the complete story in The Vine Route's blog: A family vineyard in southwestern France makes history

Regarding these vines, Wines of Southwest France reports below:

For the first time ever in France, a plot of vines has been registered as a historic monument. This half-acre parcel of thick, gnarled grapevines, estimated at 200 years of age, is a rare survivor of the phylloxera plague that attacked vines across France in the late 1800s. It is believed that the sandy nature of the soil repelled the root-eating insects that caused the widespread blight.

The historic plot is part of a 30-acre estate belonging to the Pédebernade family, in the heart of the Saint Mont appellation of Southwest France. It has been in the family for eight generations, according to Jean-Pascal Pédebernade, who tends the vineyard along with his 85-year-old father, Réné.

The site, registered in 2012, has 20 different grape varieties, including Tannat, Fer Servadou, and seven unidentified varieties that “exist nowhere else on the planet,” said Olivier Bourdet-Pees, head of the Plaimont Producteurs wine cooperative, who petitioned the regional government to register the vineyard. The unknown varieties are being studied by renowned viticultural experts Jean-Michel Boursiquot, Thierry Lacombe, and Olivier Yobrégat.

 

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