|Baco to the future|
|Thursday, 14 July 2005 01:00|
Hybrid grape Baco Blanc (Baco 22A) can continue to be used in Armagnac production after an INAO ruling.
The grape, the progeny of the vinifera grape Folle Blanche and the labrusca grape Noah (making it more resistant to phylloxera), has been subject of much discussion, and in 1992, the INAO had originally planned to have all Baco vines grubbed up by 2010. But an AOC decree means that it can continue to be used, despite the INAO taking a dim view of AOC grapes that are not 100% vinifera.
A spokeswoman for the Bureau National Interprofessionnel de L'Armagnac (BNIA) said that the decision was a great' one for producers, adding that Baco, the only grape variety unique to Armagnac is best suited to the sandy soils of the bas-Armagnac area, where it contributes to the wonderful diversity that is to be found in Armagnac' - and nearly half of all Armagnac is made with Baco.
She said that the reasons for Baco's inclusion was that it complied with the following AOC criteria:
It was created in the region, by Franois Baco;
It was planted and adapted
to the region;
It gives an originality to Armagnac; and
it offers additional quality.
Neil Mathieson, MD of London-based spirit specialist Eaux de Vie told Harpers that Baco produces a deeper, richer, oilier style of Armagnac', and has good ageing potential.
He added: There are large plantings of Baco, and in many estates, it makes up 30-40% of plantings, so we're not talking about a few hectares here and there. It doesn't make particularly good wine, but it's perfect for distilling.'