13 September 2014

Strange leaves

Right in the middle of a row of vines covered in red wine grapes, there is one grape plant that has the strange-looking leaves you see in the photos below. And it has bunches of white wine grapes growing on it.

I've never seen leaves like these on any other vines in the vineyard.

Meanwhile, the red/blue/black grapes all seemed to ripen at once a week or two ago, thanks to warm, sunny, dry weather.

You can see that the leaves on these plants are very different from the leaves on the one up above.

Can anybody identify the strange white wine grape plant? Somebody said it might be Chasselas, which is usually grown as a table grape, but none of the images of Chasselas grape leaves I can find look like the ones in my first two photos above.

Chasselas grapes are grown and made into a wine called Pouilly-sur-Loire in the village of the same name, about a hour's drive east of Saint-Aignan.


  1. Susan's the one who can identify vines from their leaves, isn't she?
    I like the shape, tho...
    are these machine maintained apart from the main pruning?
    If that's the case, perhaps no one has realised that there is a "rogue" plant out there...
    one vine looks much like another in winter...
    and that's when the young plants will have been uprooted from the nursery, too!
    Love the last piccy....
    nice composition.... the old and the new...

    1. These vines are all mechanically pruned and the grapes are mechanically harvested. So you may be right, Tim. The plant really is strikingly different from all the other plants around it.

  2. The grapes do look a bit like Chasselas ie very globular, but they look a bit big, not packed together enough and not bronzy enough (that could just be stage of ripeness though). However, the leaves look nothing like Chasselas, which has relatively undivided leaves (I've got some at the orchard). These leaves suggest a mutation to me. I'd also guess that the variety isn't the same as the vines around it because the grape colour is different, but that might all be part of the mutation. Mutations can occur for all sorts of reasons -- perhaps the plant was damaged at the grafting stage for instance.

  3. A quick rummage around the interwebs suggests that the strange grape is Chasselas Ciotat, known as the Parsley-leaved Grape. It's a spontaneous mutation of true Chasselas. I assume it got into that parcel of reds by mistake. Apparently it's a quite rare, old variety.

  4. Thanks Susan, very interesting. The man who told us that the leaves belong to a variety of Chasselas is an 84-year-old vigneron -- I should have known he was right.

    This is a good site for info about Chasselas Ciotat.

    1. The description of the fruit in this old book also fits.

  5. And then there's this, from book titled Encyclopédie Méthodique : Botanique, Volume 8

    Ciotat; raifin d'Autriche. Dift. d'Agric. vol. 10. pag. 181. tab. 21.
    Vitis folio laciniato; acino medio} rotundo, albido. Id. I. c.
    Si on clafle ce raifin d'après la couleur & le goût de fes grains, il doit faire partie de la race des chafielas. Placé à la même expofition, il mûrit à la même époque. Sa grappe eft moins grolîe, & le grain eft moins rond que ceux du chafTelas. Il eft remarquable par fes feuilles palmées & laciniées en cinq pièces, lefquelles font portées d'abord par un pétiole commun, qui fouvent fe partage en cinq pour fervir de fupport aux cinq parties de la feuille , en fe prolongeant jufqu'à leut extrémité. Quelquefois les feuilles partent du pétiole commun.


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