Unusual Varietals
Diversity in Wine
Page 2

Mustang Texas
Jack Keller proudly makes wines from native grape varieties. Mustang is a local Texan grape that has been variously classified as both Vitis Candicans and Vitis Mustangensis. Jacks website champions the indigenous grapes of America.
Melnik Bulgaria
Melnik is a local varietal grown around the town of the same name in the Petritch region of south-west Bulgaria. A combination of consumer resistance to unknown names and stretching the more expensive Cabernet Sauvignon leads to this interesting blend.
Odessa Black Odessa, Ukraine
A traditional grape from the Odessa region with a wild berry taste, here blended with a little cabernet.
Misket Bulgaria
Local variety Misket stretches Chardonnay. The shipper tells me that 70% of this wine is Misket, but I thought wine labelling laws insisted in the major varietal listed first.
Pontac South Africa
The back label of this wine says 'Pontac is a grape varietal of French origin with a history stretching back to the time of the time of Jan van Riebeeck. Records show that a Pontac wine was shipped from the Cape to Amsterdam in 1772. Much later, the varietal was used in the blend of the famous Constantia sweet red wine.
This unique wine is the only Pontac that is commercially available in the world. It is deeply hued, mildly tannic and subtly flavoured with definite ageing potential.'

I visited the estate in February 2001 and bought a couple more bottles of Pontac. They told me the vines were old and unreliable, and they wouldn't be replaced when they failed. A few Pontac vines were planted at the end of rows of other vines to deter baboons. Because the grape juice of Pontac is red, marauding baboons plucking grape bunches would see their hands coloured red, think it was blood and run away. Thus the Pontac vines protect the rest of the row.

Tannat Uruguay
Used in SW France as part of the blend that makes Madiran Tannat was taken to Uruguay by Basque settlers late in the 1800s where the dark tannic grape makes a strong flavoured black wine.

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15 May 1999
updated 4 December 2000 and 28 May 2001