Chardonnay grape is mother to today’s most popular wines. Philippines wine supplier Manila wine shop discusses wine by the grape variety Chardonnay.

December 19, 2010

A peasant’s grape that was all-but-outlawed in the Middle Ages has lived on as the mother of many of today’s most popular and prized wines, including champagne, a study has revealed.

Cambridge University scientists have shown that the Gouais blanc, a lowly grape variety that was despised by the rich, provided more than half the genes in nine varieties of grape widely grown today.

These include Chardonnay, a staple of the modern wine bar and the drink of choice of Bridget Jones.

The Chardonnay grape is also used to make Chablis and is an important component of many sparkling wines including champagne.

But 500 years ago, it was a very different story.

Gouais blanc was primarily grown by the poor of north-eastern France and looked down on by the rich, who made several attempts to ban it between late 16th and the 18th centuries,

These included a 1732 law which tried to eliminate the grape the grape, describing it as ‘rustic’ and ‘inferior’ but also ‘high-yielding’.

Co-author of the study John Haeger of Stanford University in the US said: ‘Gouais was held in low esteem in the late medieval and early modern periods.

‘Typically, varieties of this sort were grown on flat land by peasants. Good vineyards, on the other hand, growing better and lower yielding varieties were owned and farmed under the supervision of the church or nobility.’

‘Many of the “bans” were designed either to favour aristocrats and monastic orders over peasants, or force more arable land into the production of cereals and legumes to eliminate food shortages.’

Although their attempts to ban the grape failed, it largely disappeared at the end of the 19th century and now survives only in a few vineyards and reference collections around the world.

But the Gouais blanc’s legacy lives on.

The British and US researchers knew that crosses between it and Pinot noir, which was favoured by the rich, had produced many of today’s type of grape.

What they didn’t know was which variety was the ‘mother’ and which the ‘father’.

This is important because, in the plant world, as in the human one, the female contributes more DNA to offspring than the male.

Using genetic fingerprinting techniques more usually associated with forensic science, they traced the origins of 12 widely-grown varieties.

Gouais blanc was found to be the maternal parent of nine, including Chardonnay, Gamay noir, which is found in Beaujolais, and Aligote, a key component of the Kir Royal cocktail.

In contrast, Pinot noir, the ‘rich man’s grape’ was the ‘mother’ of three, the Royal Society journal Biology Letters reports.

Professor Christopher Howe, of the University of Cambridge, said: ‘It is ironic that the despised grape Gouais blanc was not just a parent for several of the world’s best-known and most important varieties, such as Chardonnay and Gamay noir, it was the maternal parent, providing additional DNA and potentially determining important characteristics of the offspring.

‘This is a striking conclusion, as Gouais is generally considered a highly inferior variety, and its cultivation was banned for many years in parts of Europe.’

However, the lowly origins of Chardonnay may vindicate followers ‘ABC’ rule of wine buying – or ‘Anything But Chardonnay’.

They turned their backs on the wine after it featured prominently in the Bridget Jones books and films – and cropped up as the name for a character in the ITV series Footballers’ Wives.


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Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar was built by Hong Kong-based Yats International in 2000 to provide a world-class cozy fine dining restaurant, business meeting facilities and venues for private dinners and functions in Pampanga Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone. Pampanga Angeles City Clark Philippines was selected for this restaurant because of safety, clean air, absence of traffic and proximity to Manila and Subic.

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Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

Residents of Angeles City Pampanga and Subic often complain about the lack of fine dining restaurants in their home town. Many food and wine lovers travel to Clark Pampanga to wine and dine in restaurants in Clark Philippines. Clark offers some of the best restaurants in Pampanga, equal in quality to if not better than some of the best restaurants in Manila. Located inside Mimosa where visitors enjoy golf or spend time in the casino, Yats Restaurant is a popular choice for a good place inside Clark Airfield to eat steaks and seafood. This is also one of the popular family restaurants in Clark Air Base because this restaurant is child friendly. . Next time you travel north to Pampanga, don’t forget to wine and dine at this famous Clark restaurant which is located in Mimosa Leisure Estate of Clark Air Base.

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