Cabernet Blanc, a 20-year crime thriller

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Cabernet Blanc: A unique recent development!

The winegrower has two arch-enemies : Oidium and Peronospora  Sounds like science fiction, but it's powdery mildew. This causes the vines to wither. There's no cure for it... (at least that's what people thought for a long time), and that's why pesticides have to be sprayed - or the harvest has to be abandoned.

It is particularly difficult in organic winegrowing , in which, as is well known, no cultivated plant protection products may be used. Copper is therefore used as an alternative . But copper is a heavy metal that can lead to high soil pollution over the long term because it is not naturally degraded. The lower protective effect of the alternative organic means also ensures that the tractors have to drive through the vineyard more often than usual. However, today's modern tractors are often twice as heavy as their predecessors from 30 years ago - and this compacts the soil, in fact chokes off the air. Then the soil has to be loosened up again mechanically, and this creates other effects... In short: It's multi-layered and a blanket answer is simply not enough.
For these reasons, there was already a heated discussion in the 1980s as to whether organic cultivation or conventional viticulture was better. In 1982 it became the grape grower Valentin Blattner then too much: He could understand the opinions of both sides, and so he decided to start a step earlier and to get to the root of the problem, so to speak. His vision was to make the vine itself more resistant so that pesticides no longer had to be applied. With this goal in mind, he began his vine research.

The evolution of Cabernet Blanc

For the development of this Piwi (ger.: "Pilzwiderstand" fungus-resistant) grape variety, he teamed up with the Palatinate Rebschule Freytag . What sounds so relaxed was in fact a major entrepreneurial risk. Unfortunately, bureaucracy is such a thing. The wine law is clearly regulated worldwide. Among other things, it meticulously defines which grape varieties may be planted where ... and the approval of a new grape variety costs a whopping €60,000. With tweezers and endless patience , he set about working on tens of thousands of different little plants. Such a varietal development can easily take twenty to thirty years, so this is not for people who want to see quick results.

The first Cabernet Blanc vine was then developed in 1991 . The development to marketability then lasted until 2003. The Graf von Weyher winery was one of the first three wineries in the world that was allowed to grow the variety for experimental purposes that year. For us it was an honor and at the same time more exciting than a thriller. It was an unbelievable feeling when we were able to harvest the new grapes … at that time without a name, only with a number … for the first time.

The first sale

In 2008 we were allowed to bottle and sell the Cabernet Blanc for the first time, at that time with the note on each bottle that this grape variety was declared as experimental cultivation. Cabernet Blanc has been regularly approved in Germany since 2012 ... and worldwide only since 2018. A long and tedious development, any uninitiated would say, but for vine growers, this is rapid product development! Normally, the process until the first approval takes about thirty years.

It was worth it: The Cabernet Blanc is so resistant to powdery mildew and downy mildew (said archenemies) that 70% to 90% less pesticides are needed. At the same time, it has excellent taste. (Have you tried it yet??) You can feel the Sauvignon Blanc combined with a certain southern touch ... but you should try it yourself and order it right away in our online shop.

The worldwide triumph of Cabernet Blanc has only just begun, but it has already received many awards.

award-winning

In the nationwide DLG competition, our Cabernet Blanc showed what it can do:

  • Gold prize extra 2021

  • Gold Medal 2022

  • Pioneer of Sustainability 2020, 2022

Our Piwi wine was also well received by the falstaff wine guide and was rated 89+ points.

trendsetting

Today, Valentin Blattner is considered one of the most promising vine growers in the world, but he is not resting on his laurels. Together with the Catalan winemaker José Marie from the Albert y Noya winery, he grows more Piwi grape varieties on more than 20 hectares. He doesn't just limit himself to researching new grape varieties. At the same time, he is also working on making existing varieties more resistant.

In September 2022 Jürgen Graf was allowed to visit the winery. When he saw the test facilities, he was enthusiastic, because he could see the difference with his own eyes: Valentin Blattner planted the same grape variety (Grenache) side by side in two vineyards: once the piwi variant and once the conventional type. Neither of the vineyards was processed with any kind of pesticide, neither conventional nor organic. The result was clear! (see photo).

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The worldwide success

At ' The Best Chef Award ' in Madrid Valentin Blattner, Jürgen Graf, Martin Buchholtz and José Marie Albet presented the exciting development of Cabernet Blanc to the global gastronomy scene. ( The count's performance begins at 14:40).

The subtitles can be activated and even translated into German in the video settings.

Here's our cabernet blanc

 


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