The red grape variety comes from Portugal. Synonyms are Castellana, Penamacor, Pennamaior, Pinot Aigret, Preto Rifete, Rifete, Rosette, Rufeta and Tinta Pinheira. It must not be confused with the Pedral or Tinta Carvalha varieties, despite the fact that synonyms or morphological similarities appear to indicate this. According to DNA analyses carried out in 2013, it originates from a presumably natural cross between Perepinhao Portalegre x Molar(Negramoll?). However, this is based on only 20 DNA brands (see molecular genetics). The white variety Verdejo Serrano (with synonym Rufete Blanca) is not a colour mutation.
The late ripening vine is susceptible to powdery mildew and botrytis. It produces light red, low-alcohol, acidic and tannic red wines that tend to oxidise. With appropriate yield regulation and ageing, full-bodied wines with aromas of red fruits and ageing potential can be produced. The variety is mainly cultivated in the east of Beiras, as well as in the Dão and Douro areas. It is also permitted in port wine. In Portugal, 4,183 hectares were registered in 2010. In Spain, it was almost 700 hectares, mainly in the region of Castilla y León. In total, it occupied 4,833 hectares of vineyards, with an upward trend; ten years earlier, the figure was 3,397 hectares (Kym Anderson). This puts it in 112th place in the worldwide grape variety ranking.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)