De Chaunac is a popular hybrid wine grape of French-American origin. This grape is used for making red wines that have oaky aromas with hints of bitter black cherries. This varietal is especially popular in the American regions of Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan, Nova Scotia and also in Ontario, Canada, where the grapes are grown abundantly. It is used as a blend in the production of other red wines such as Baco and Foch.
De Chaunac was first developed in the year 1860 by Albert Seibel; hence, it was initially known as Seibel 9549. It is a cross between Seibel 793 and Seibel 5163. The grape derives its name from the pioneer of the Ontario’s wine industry, Adhemar de Chaunac, a Canadian enologist.
Types of De Chaunac Wines
- 1998 Lakeview Cellars De Chaunac – This wine has inky, blackish violet color with vanilla and black cherry notes. It is somewhat like port wines, with warm yet bitter almond taste.
- 1999 Lakeview Cellars De Chaunac – This is a deep ruby colored wine with traces of violet-purple. The aroma of the wine has hints of black cherries and oak, with a tart, dry and black cherry flavor that is almost acidic.
- 1999 Thomas & Vaughan De Chaunac – This is again another deep ruby colored wine that has edgy violet-purple hue. Notes of plums and cherries are prominent in the wine that has a dry and earthy texture on the palate.
Buying & Storing Tips
De Chaunac grapes are mainly used as wine grapes. The key considerations while buying the grapes are –
- To ensure that the skin is firm and evenly textured, without any spots of blemishes.
- The grapes should be crack and wrinkle free, without oozing out any juice.
- Once ripe, they should be refrigerated as is without separating from the stem. They last this way for a few days. They should not be kept at room temperature, else they ferment and spoil.
- If washed, the red De Chaunac grapes should be patted dry and wrapped loosely in paper towels.