The grape variety comes from France; the name means "vine with reddish berries". The most important of the approximately 50 synonyms are Barbarons, Barbarossa, Grec Rosé, Grec Rouge, Gros Barbaroux, Hellroter Gänsfußer, Merveille, Raisin Monstrueux, Regina Rossa, Rote Hammelshode, Roussée and Uva Barbarossa. It must not be confused with the varieties Grec Rouge or Rosé du Var (both with synonym Barbaroux) because of apparently suggestive synonyms. According to DNA analyses carried out in 2009, the suspicions that the Italian Barbarossa varieties (Liguria, Piemonte) or the German variety Goosefoot are identical have been refuted.
This very old variety was first mentioned in the year 1667 in the area of Toulon-Provence under Barbarons, where it was widely spread in former times. The medium-ripening, high-yielding vine is susceptible to botrytis and powdery mildew. It produces aromatic red wines with moderate acidity and alcohol content and is also used as a table grape. The variety is now used in Provence as a blend for rosé and red wines. There it is approved in the two appellations Cassis and Côtes de Provence. The area under cultivation in 2010 was 30 hectares.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)