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Le Picardan

A Confidential Grape Variety of the Rhône Valley

A white grape variety native to Provence, Picardan is one of the 13 grape varieties authorized by the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation, but today it is very rarely used. Its role in blends has become anecdotal, although it can bring a touch of finesse and muscat-like aromas to the wines.


An Increasingly Rare Provençal Grape

Originating from the Rhône Valley, Picardan is a white grape that has long been part of the viticultural landscape of Provence and Languedoc. However, as the vineyard modernized, it was gradually abandoned in favor of higher quality and easier-to-cultivate varieties such as Clairette, Roussanne, or Bourboulenc.

Today, Picardan occupies only a few scattered hectares within the Châteauneuf-du-Pape appellation and is tending to disappear. Only a few estates continue the tradition of including it in their blends, but always in very small proportions.


A Blending Grape for Typicity and Finesse


Picardan is a vigorous and productive grape variety that requires proper pruning to manage yields. It buds early, making it susceptible to spring frosts. Its clusters are conical and compact, with tightly packed berries that are smaller than those of Cinsault. At maturity, they take on a pretty rosy hue.


Picardan produces neutral and low-alcohol wines, which explains its gradual decline. Its qualitative potential is limited, and it is rarely vinified alone. However, its juicy and sweet berries develop delicate muscat-like aromas that can bring finesse to blends.

In the white wines of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Picardan is never vinified alone but always blended with other grape varieties like Clairette, Roussanne, or Bourboulenc. Although not very aromatic, it is fine and elegant, bringing a touch of freshness and floral and muscat-like notes to the wines. It contributes to the typicity and complexity of the blends.


Its role in blends remains very marginal, rarely exceeding a few percent. Its influence on the aromatic profile of the wines is therefore quite subtle and more akin to a hint of finesness than a dominant character.

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