Bacchus- the GOD of the wine.
If you know anything about ancient Gods, then you may have heard of Bacchus (aka. Dionysus) the God of wine. Bacchus is also the name of a relatively unknown grape that’s making a growing name for itself in the UK.
THE GRAPE CHARACTERISTICS
Most commonly confused with Sauvignon Blanc due to its powerful aromatics and similar elderflower, lime and gooseberry flavours. Other common flavours include melon, pear, apple, lemon and herbaceous notes like grass. It is thought to be a rather recent grape hybrid made from Müller-Thurgau and Riesling-Silvaner and plantings are only beginning to grow, mainly through the rise of English wine production.
One of the problems with the white grape variety is its acid retention. In warmer climates the grape can produce high levels of sugar and quickly loose favourable acidity. The grapes ripen early so can be planted in areas affected by poor autumn weather, such as England.
England is the standout country when it comes to Bacchus. Known to be the UK’s answer to Sauvignon Blanc, it is however still barely recognised by consumers and on restaurant wine lists. Devon, Cornwall and Norfolk are stand out counties where Bacchus is beginning to win many awards. The UK suits this grape variety as the cool weather allows the grape to retain high levels of acidity.
Bacchus is also found in Germany but in low quantities. Here it is often blended with other white grape varieties in order to increase the acid levels in the final wine. Its parent grape Müller-Thurgau is a favoured variety to blend with. Within Germany Rheinhessen and Franken are key areas for growing Bacchus.