13 September 2012

Raisin rose

Not only do we have "white" and "black" grapes growing in the vineyard all around the house, but we also have "gray" grapes. They are pink to my eye.

I'm not sure if these pink grapes are unusual in Touraine. I've never seen them anywhere else, but then the only other vineyard I've ever spent much time in is in Vouvray, where they grow white grapes exclusively (Chenin Blanc).

I took this flash picture one morning when it was just barely light outside.

The juice of these grapes might go into rosé wines. The Domaine de la Renaudie, which owns the grapes, makes good still and sparkling rosés.

This shot is about a week old, when the grapes were just starting to ripen.

Meanwhile, Walt and I processed another 15 lb.s of tomatoes from the garden yesterday. We made sauce. We also made a tomato crumble with ground almonds (poudre d'amandes), shaved almonds (amandes effilées), and grated Parmesan cheese. That was lunch.

We got a trace of rain in Saint-Aignan day before yesterday, and it has rained overnight because everything is wet outside this morning. At this point in mid-September, we've had about as much rainfall as we had in all the month of August (which was almost none).

The dry conditions are good for the grapes, which are ripening quickly. I haven't yet heard a date for the start of the vendanges or seen anybody doing any harvesting in the vineyard.


  1. Have you found out what those pinkish gray grapes are? I wonder if they could be Grolleau, which is unique to parts of the Touraine.

  2. Harvest time is coming soon! Beautiful photos.

  3. Bob, it may well be Grolleau Gris. We have Grolleau grapes growing right outside our back gate, again according to the vineyard owner, and the grapes are red. The pink grapes might be either Grolleau Gris or Sauvignon Gris.

    Evelyn, the harvest might start next week, or the week after. It's fairly late this year, but then our summer was very late, with hot, dry weather starting only in late July.

  4. They look a bit like the Muscadel ( Muscat seedless) table grapes that we get from Chile in April.

  5. The Beaver, here's an interesting article I found on the subject:

    Wine of the Week: The Rare Sauvignon Gris

    It mentions Chile and Bordeaux as places where Sauvignon Gris is planted now.

    And this Wine-Searcher page says the same grape is also known as Sauvignon Rose (not Rosé, but Rose) in the Loire Valley. And that's exactly what the former owner-operator of the Domaine de la Renaudie, 80-year-old Jacques Denis, called it when I asked him what the pink grapes were. Jacques's son and daughter-in-law own the Renaudière vines and winery now.

  6. Bob R., here's page that gives info about the Grolleau Gris grape:

    Vins, Vignes, Vignerons

    The site gives a lot of photos and information about all the grape varieties in the Loire Valley, and by subregion (Pays Nantais, Touraine, etc.) The photo I found of the local Romorantin grape shows grapes that also resemble the grapes I'm calling Sauvignon Rose.

  7. Thanks Ken

    My next trip to the wine store before Thanksgiving I will look for a Sauvignon Gris to see how it is.

  8. I am eating these grapefruits in these days, but from Sicily!


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