The red grape variety originates from Argentina and belongs to the group of the so-called Criollas (see there the history in detail). The name means "cherry" and refers to the cherry coloured berries. Synonyms are Ceresa, Cereza Nera, Ceresina, Cerise and Chereza. According to the last DNA analyses carried out in 2017, it is probably a natural cross between Muscat d'Alexandrie x Criolla Chica or Mission(Listán Prieto). There are also two other varieties, Cereza Elipsoidal (with oval berries) and Cereza Italica.
The late ripening, very productive vine produces simple, light-coloured rosé wines (the berries are too light for red wines), which are bottled for mass consumption in Bag-in-Boxes, Tetra Paks, tubular containers and large bottles. These are often blended with red wines, sweetened and carbonated as an alcoholic soft drink. The variety is also used for the production of RTK (grape must concentrate) table grapes. It is cultivated exclusively in Argentina. In 2010, the area under cultivation was 29,189 hectares, of which ~16,500 in Mendoza and ~11,500 in San Juan. Compared to 1990 with 42,937 hectares, there was a reduction of one third. This puts it in 34th 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)