The red grape variety originates from the Moldova/Romania border region. Synonyms grouped alphabetically by country are Coada Răndunicii, Păsărească, Păsărească Neagră, Poamă Fetei Neagră(Moldova); Coada Răndunicii, Coada Rindunicu, black girl grape(Romania); Feteasca Chernaya, Pasaryanska Chernaya(Russia); Fetyaska Chernaya(Ukraine); Fetyaska Black. The (many centuries old) variety has probably spread from the historical region of Moldavia to Transylvania and Hungary.
According to DNA analyses there are kinship relations between the three varieties Fetească Neagră (red), Fetească Albă (white) and Fetească Regală (white). However, comparisons made in 2010 refuted the long suspected assumption that Fetească Neagră is a colour mutation of Fetească Albă (or vice versa). There are at least four morphologically different varieties of Fetească Neagră, which also confirms the high age. The variety was a crossing partner in the new breeding Codana.
The medium to late-maturing vine is susceptible to powdery mildew, but resistant to botrytis due to its thick skinned berries, as well as drought and frost down to minus 22 °Celsius. It produces dark-coloured red wines rich in tannin and alcohol, with aromas of currant and plum and storage potential. In Moldavia it was almost extinct and was only revived at the beginning of the 2000s. In Romania it is mainly cultivated in Dobrogea, Moldova, Muntenia and Oltenia. In 2010, a total of 1,719 hectares of vineyards were planted here. There are other small stocks in Bulgaria and Hungary. In the Ukraine, all "Feteasca varieties" are reportedly listed together, which makes a more precise allocation difficult.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)