Seyval Blanc

(a.k.a Seyval)

Well suited to cool climates, this popular French-American hybrid is the second most planted vine in England, behind Müller-Thurgau. The variety is also popular in Canada and the eastern U.S., particularly New York State. Reliably productive and an early ripening (usually mid to late September) Seyval Blanc is made into crisp white wines, with no foxy flavor, or sometimes into off-dry versions where the tart nature of the variety is balanced with residual sugar. Some producers have employed such enhancing techniques as barrel fermentation and/or aging, and malolactic fermentation to improve the quality of its sometimes neutral character and lack of intensity. The fruit is highly susceptible to botrytis bunch rot.

Sadly, Seyval Blanc (like all other hybrid varieties) was outlawed for “quality wine” designation by vinifera-obsessed European Union authorities, ostensibly, for quality reasons. This is a controversial issue for the English wine industry, where the variety has proved to Read more »

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