New Alternative Variety in Australia
Plus a Taste and Talk reminder
Planta Fina is an ancient Mediterranean variety, many centuries old. It is now being used to make a crisp dry white by Mazza Wines in the Geographe Region of Western Australia.
This variety, also called Planta Fina de Pedralba, probably originated in Sicily where it is known as Damaschino.
Over the centuries old varieties acquire baggage in the form of origin stories and a fair number of synonyms. Some examples Alicante Branco (Portugal) Farana (Algeria, Australia?) Mayorquin (France) Planta Pedralba (Spain).
The Sicilian name suggests that it may have come from Damascus, but this theory is not supported by genetic or historical evidence. The Spanish name refers to a town near Valencia.
The Australian Revival
I was alerted to this new variety by an article in the Weekend Australian of 28/5/22 by Max Allen.
Mazza Wines in Geographe have an interest in Iberian, especially Portuguese varieties. They have had great success with Bastardo, Touriga Nacional and Tinta Cão for example.
They heard about an abandoned vineyard with the variety with Planta Fina and went to look for it.
Here’s the story from Mazza’s website
Back in 2007 Anne was studying viticulture at UWA and her lecturer, John 'jac' Considine, told us a story about travelling around the South West with a French ampelographer (an expert at identifying grape varieties).
They had taken a pit-stop on a side road near Donnybrook and the ampelographer emerged from the bush with much excitement. Underneath the bracken and blackberries he had spotted a rare Spanish white grape variety he hadn't seen for years. Apologetically jac explained that trip had been some time ago and couldn't remember the location.
But Dave had an idea about where they had been. He had picked apples on most of the local orchards as a teenager and knew about an abandoned vineyard. Sure enough, some time later we found the very haggard old vines growing up through bracken, blackberries and thick long grass with a few ragged bunches of fruit.
Three years of DNA testing followed to confirm that jac's ampelographer was right - Planta Fina de Pedralba was growing on the other side of town!
So that makes another Rare Ozzies variety. You can find lots more rare varieties in Australia by searching #rareozzies in Google or the social media channels.
Taste and Talk Sessions
The winter series starts on Thursday, June 2. You must register to join in, it’s free, but you bring your own wine (alternative red I suggest) to the Zoom session. Details here.
Buy Alternative Varietal Wines
Another wine amazing bargain from our wine merchant partner.
Some of my favourite varieties, made by some of my favourite producers… and at a great price. The Sagrantino in this mix is an absolute stunner! (I get a small commission if you buy from this link)