The white grape variety probably comes from Azerbaijan. Synonyms are Ag Chirai, Ag Shirei, Ag Üzum, Bahian Chirei, Bajac Shirei, Banants, Bayanshire, Bayan Shirei, Bayan Shirey, Shirei and Spitak Khagog. It probably originates from the surroundings of the name-giving community of Bayan in the Dashkasan region of Azerbaijan. According to a second version the origin is in Armenia. The late-ripening, high-yielding vine is susceptible to fungal diseases and frost-sensitive, but resistant to drought. It yields white wines with moderate alcohol content. The variety is also used as a table grape, for the production of grape juice and sometimes for the distillation of wine spirits. In 2010, 645 hectares of vineyard area were designated in Kazakhstan with an increasing tendency (Kym Anderson). The variety is allegedly also grown in smaller quantities in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)