Climate change in the vineyards is back in the news with the announcement that France has authorised the planting of several varieties previously prohibited in the region. These are cultivars able to perform well in warmer conditions.

Not all of them are names that trip easily off the tongue. Touriga nacional is known in SA, and used mainly by port producers, though there are some unfortified examples from Boplaas, Axe Hill, Allesverloren and De Krans. However, most of the other newly approved red varieties mean nothing even to wine geeks. When last did you have a glass of castets or arinarnoa? As for the newly listed whites, only albarino/alvarinho and petit manseng may ring a distant bell outside a roomful of ampelographers. ..

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