White grape variety originating from the foothills of the Pyrenees in Southwest France.
Scientific name: Vitus Vinifera. Petit Manseng.
A white variation of the black Manseng grape.
A centuries old and until recently little known varietal in France.
Sometimes referred to as Small Manseng or Little Manseng or Manseng Blanc.
An early budding varietal and susceptible to late frost.
Thick skinned small fruit with loose clusters.
The loose clusters and small fruit result in lower yields with concentrated body and flavors.
Naturally high in acidity therefore needs to fully ripen to develop balanced sugars.
Experiencing a renascence not only in Europe but also in the Southeastern United States.
Popular in Virginia and gaining favor in Western North Carolina.
The loose clusters allow air flow over the fruit allowing sustainability through the hot summers, and with its thick skin is more resistant to the effects of greater rainfall. The fruit thereby can ripen longer on the vine.
Produces dry to sweet wines. Though the dry styles are gaining favor in North Carolina.
Petit Manseng wines normally present a highly aromatic nose and flavors of honey, green fruits, and tropical notes.
The wines generally have more body than traditional white wines while still presenting the crispness of a lighter white wine.
Expect these wines to cellar up to five years.
Very good examples in Western North Carolina are being produced by Overmountain Vineyards and Parker-Binns Vineyard in the Tryon Foothills, plus at Addison Farms Vineyard in Leicester.