Chambourcin is a purple-skinned, French-American hybrid grape that is more readily available in the United States and Australia than in its homeland, France. Chambourcin's exact parentage is unknown, but it is thought to be a crossing of native North American vines with a Siebel hybrid developed in the Loire Valley of France. It is one of the world's most popular hybrid varieties, and is noted for its distinctive dark coloring and herbaceous aroma.
Chamborcin has done very well in Virginia and a number of wineries are bottling Chamborcin on its own. Rivah Vineyards just planted another two acres of this hybrid in April 2016. We are looking at this grape as a top producer for some great wines!
Noted for evocative herbal aromas and crisp acidity, Chambourcin is typically made in a dry style into full-flavored wines that showcase a wide variety of berries. Although often a varietal wine, it can also be used as a blending grape to add youth, color, and fruit flavors to a more ageable wine. In fact, the grape's main use is for its color, which is deep enough for winemakers to use it to improve the depth of blended red wines, without sacrificing the fruit quality of the main variety (often Syrah). Chambourcin is also used in sparkling red wine production, and is also found in table wines.
It pairs well with a wide variety of foods, from hamburgers, lamb and veal to tuna, swordfish, Mahi-mahi and flounder.
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