News Flash: Black Spanish is Cabernet Franc x Vitis Aestivalis
Previously, I blogged on the Black Spanish/Lenior Symposium being held today in Cat Spring, Texas. In response to this blog post, I received this very interesting email from Dr. Jerry Rodrigues who I believe is now a resident of South Africa:
I wish I were there attending your ‘Jacquez’ Symposium. My Name is Dr Jerry Rodrigues and I have Portuguese heritage but was born in South Africa. My ancestors grew Jacquez for many many years back in the day on the Island of Madeira where my parents were born.
I have been studying the parentage of Jacques (aka Lenoir, Black Spanish) and I have submitted a paper on this subject to a wine journal recently.
We now have ‘DNA evidence’ that Jacquez was naturally generated from hybridization events involving the Vitis vinifera cultivar, Cabernet franc, with a ‘wild’ Vitis aestivalis grapevine species that took place at some point in early colonial America (around the middle of the 18th century).
One possible reason why Cabernet franc was more successful than other European cultivars in growing reasonably successfully at that time in the eastern American colonies could be because it is one of the most cold-hardy Vitis vinifera varieties known. This fact most likely played an important ‘role’ in that region that resulted in the eventaul hybridization event that gave rise to the ‘amazing’ Jacquez cultivar.
I have visited your country 15 years ago when my plane landed in Houston Airport. You have a beautiful country, I especially enjoyed Texas and New Mexico State while I was there for almost 3 months.
I hope you have a good Symposium today.
Cheers…have a good one!
Dr Rodrigues (PhD Biochemistry)