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Rabo de Ovelha

The white grape variety comes from Portugal. The name means "sheep's tail" and refers to the shape of the grapes. Synonyms are Rabigato, Rabo de Ovelha Branco, Rabo de Ovelha de Colares - listed as independent in the VIVC catalogue, Rabo de Ovella(Portugal); Fernan Piriz(Spain). Despite morphological similarities it must not be confused with the Rabigato variety (Rabo de Gato = cat's tail). It is also not a mutation of the red variety Negramoll (Rabo de Ovelho Tinto). According to DNA-analyses there is a parent-offspring relationship with the Spanish variety Cayetana Blanca as well as with the Portuguese variety Vital. The medium to late-maturing vine is susceptible to powdery mildew, botrytis and water stress, but resistant to trickle. It produces aromatic, alcohol-rich white wines, which are mostly used as blends. The variety is grown in the Alentejo and Beiras regions. The area under cultivation in 2010 was 908 hectares, with a strong downward trend (ten years earlier it was 2,330 hectares).

Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012

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