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Dijon clones

Dijon-Clones (GB)

In 1974, the US winemaker David Adelsheim from the US state of Oregon, on a study trip to France, made the astonishing experience that the local Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines obviously produced very different or better results (wines) than those in the USA and that they were also much less prone to disease. Three years later, such vines were exported to Oregon and the testing of the vines known as "Dijon clones" began on a larger scale. This was a lengthy process, but today, for example, almost 1,000 hectares of vineyards in Oregon are planted with Chardonnay vines from Dijon. This was followed by Australia, where they were named "Bernard clones" after the scientist, and California. This was the beginning of their triumphal procession, and Dijon vines are now in use all over the world.

These were very special vines that the French scientist Prof. Raymond Bernard of the Ministry of Agriculture had selected in the 1960s in Dijon (Burgundy) on the basis of their special characteristics. The reason for this was the major problems that began to appear in the vineyards of the Côte d'Or in the 1950s. Many vines were infected by viruses, ripened very slowly or too late and were susceptible to grape rot. Therefore, a method was developed to select those vines that were resistant to it. The Burgundy winegrowers were initially very sceptical and refused to use the selected clones. A total of 100 clones each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir were selected. Pinot Noir 113, 114, 115, 667, 777 and 828, as well as Chardonnay 76, 95, 96, 121, 124, 277 and 809 are considered to be particularly successful, but this should not be seen as absolute, as it depends very much on soil type, climatic conditions and also taste preferences, which are most suitable. See also under breeding.

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