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Bob Parsons Alberta

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For PaulB.......Sovereign Opal, Calona Vineyards.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Jun 06, 2006 11:33 pm

I came across this sample bottle whilst looking in on the Grill the other night. Its the `04 Sovereign Opal from Calona Vineyards (BC). Agri Canada has developed this varietal for bottling by said winery and a google search can be productive.

Basically a marechal foch cross with golden muscat. Medium straw colour, floral nose, mint, muscat style. Fat and round on the palate with big citrus on finish.Apple, peach and nectarine. I was quite surprised how good this was, an excellent white meat food wine.
I am not a big fan of Calona wines but this is a good effort. Bravo!
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Paul B.

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Re: For PaulB.......Sovereign Opal, Calona Vineyards.

by Paul B. » Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:11 am

Bob, many thanks for posting this. I was not aware of this hybrid before, and now am finding it a fascinating read. What a delightful, eye-opening TN.

Thanks & cheers!
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Bob Parsons Alberta

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Re: For PaulB.......Sovereign Opal, Calona Vineyards.

by Bob Parsons Alberta » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:17 am

Paul, I think the cross to be a bit strange? Can you add some thoughts?
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Paul B.

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Re: For PaulB.......Sovereign Opal, Calona Vineyards.

by Paul B. » Wed Jun 07, 2006 1:21 am

Actually, Bob, while I know nothing about the rationale for developing this hybrid, I can kind of see the sense just by looking at its parents: Foch is a tough, early-ripener that's admirably winter-hardy and disease-resistant; Golden Muscat is a Muscat x labrusca hybrid that's rather late-ripening and needs a warm, preferably dry climate to do best. Combining the two would probably seek a hybrid that's got the Muscatty fruitiness of the Muscat hybrid with the lumberjack toughness of the Foch. If that was what the hybridizers had in mind, then it makes sense to me.

Of course, the best thing would be to try and get a contact name for the institution where the hybrid was created and invite them to supply us with the dirt (pun intended) on why they crafted this variety. I for one would love to read about it. Enquiring vinous minds wanna know, and all that jazz ... :mrgreen:
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Howie Hart

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Re: For PaulB.......Sovereign Opal, Calona Vineyards.

by Howie Hart » Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:59 am

Making hybrids is one thing. Crossing different hybrids is like opening a can of worms - the genes could be all over the place. Cross 2 reds and you could get a white or vice versa. Cayuga's grandparent is Zin. Sometimes I don't think the hybridizers actually have a plan in these instances. Just cross Hybrid A with Hybrid B, grow several hundred seedlings, see which ones have desirable growing characteristics (yield, disease resistence, cold hardiness, ripening, etc.), throw out the rest, then see what kind of fruit is produced.

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