The red grape variety comes from France. Synonyms grouped alphabetically by country are Bathiolin, Batiolin, Bonarda(Argentina, Brazil); Charbonneau, Corbeau, Corbeau Noir, Folle Noire d l'Ariege, Mauvais Noir, Ocanette, Plant de Montmélian, Picot Rouge, Plant de Turin, Plant Noir, Turin(France); Bonarda, Serbina, Turca(Italy); Charbono(California). Until the end of the 19th century, it was one of the most widespread varieties in Savoy and was called Corbeau (crow) outside of it because of its dark colour. However, there is no relation to the Douce Noire Grise variety mentioned by Pierre Galet (1921-2019). However, according to analyses carried out in 2009, there is a close relationship with the Mondeuse Noire variety.
The presumption expressed by Galet that she was identical to Dolcetto and that she had arrived in France from Italy has been proven wrong by DNA analyses carried out in 2006. Further analyses have also clarified other mysteries and misunderstandings. The variety cultivated in California under the name Charbono is independent and not identical with the (today without meaning) "true" Charbono from Piedmont, but with Douce Noire. The variety cultivated in Argentina under Bonarda has no connection with Bonarda Piemontese, nor with the other (each of them independent) Bonarda varieties, but is also identical with Douce Noir. Douce Noir should therefore not be confused with the Bonarda Piemontese, Charbono or Dolcetto varieties.
The variety is cultivated in France on a few hectares in Savoy and the Jura. In Italy, it occupies a total of 815 hectares under the above synonyms. And as Charbono, 34 hectares were recorded in California. In Argentina, however, it is very successful and occupies 18,127 hectares under the (false) name Bonarda, especially in the Mendoza and San Juan areas. The late maturing vine produces fruity red wines here for quick enjoyment. The variety occupied a total of 18,976 hectares in 2010. Compared to 1990 with 17,653 hectares at that time, this represents a slight increase. It occupies 40th 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)