Piquepoul

Piquepoul

Piquepoul or Picpoul is a variety of wine grape grown primarily in the Rhone Valley and Languedoc regions of France. It exists both in dark-skinned (Piquepoul noir) and light-skinned (Piquepoul blanc) versions, as well as a very little grown Piquepoul gris. Piquepoul blanc is the most common of the Piquepouls, with cultivated in France in 2000, and an increasing trend.

Piquepoul tends to bud late and has some sensitivity to oidium. Its name means "lip-stinger" and refers to the high acidity of the grapes.

History

Piquepoul has a long history in the Languedoc region, and along with Cinsaut and Clairette is one of the oldest domestic grape varieties of that region. Piquepoul had a reputation as a quality grape as early as the early 17th century. It was blended Clairette to produce the wine Picardan in the 17th & 18th centuries.

After the Great French Wine Blight, when large shifts in varieties planted took place, Piquepoul lost popularity due to its susceptibility to fungal diseases such as oidium and its low yield.

Piquepoul wines

In Languedoc, Piquepoul blanc is used both for blending and for varietal wines. Red wines produced from Picpoul noir are high in alcohol, are richly scented, but have a very pale colour, which has made the variety more popular as a blending ingredient than as a producer of varietal wines.

Both the blanc and noir versions of Piquepoul are permitted blending grapes for the production of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. However, in 2004 only 0.15% of the appellation's surface was planted with the Piquepoul varieties.

Picpoul de Pinet

Picpoul de Pinet is a designation or cru which may be used within the Languedoc appellation for white wines made exclusively from Piquepoul blanc in the communes Pinet, Mèze, Florenzac, Castelnau-de-Guers, Montagnac and Pomérols.

The wines are green-gold in colour, full-bodied, and show lemon flavours. Modernization of the winemaking has led to increased interest in these wines.

Synonyms

Synonyms for Piquepoul blanc include Avello, Avillo, Extra, Feher Piquepoul, Languedocien, Picapoll, Picapolla, Picapulla, Picpoul, Picpoul de Pinet.

Synonyms for Piquepoul gris include Avillo, Languedocien, Picapulla, Picpoul, Pikepul Seryi, Piquepoul rose, Szürke Piquepoul.

Synonyms for Piquepoul noir include Avillo, Kek Piquepoul, Languedocien, Pical, Pical Negro, Pical Polho, Picalpolho, Picapoll, Picapoll Negro, Picapouia, Picapouya, Picapulla, Picpouille, Picpoul, Picpoule, Picquepoul, Pikepul Chernyi, Pique Poule, Piquerette noire.

Picpoul is also a synonym for the variety Folle Blanche, which has no known relationship to Piquepol.

References

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