Aims: The old literature contains references to the varieties once cultivated in the Betanzos region (northwestern Spain) and three of them (Blanco Legítimo, Agudelo and Serradelo) were rediscovered during a survey work that began in 1987 and now form part of a collection held at the Misión Biológica de Galicia (MBG-CSIC). The aims of the present work were 1) to describe these three varieties, 2) to determine whether grapevines recently planted are indeed true representatives of these varieties and if so 3) to examine their agronomic and oenological potential.
Methods and Results: Ampelographic descriptions were made following the OIV method (OIV, 2009) and the reconstruction of ‘mean leaves’ (Martínez and Grenan, 1999). Ten microsatellite loci were also characterised. Having confirmed the supposed identity of the vines in the vineyards, their agronomic and oenological potentials in the region were investigated (fertility, weight of fruit, composition of must and wine). The ampelographic and molecular results showed the following synonyms: Blanco Legítimo = Albarín Blanco; Serradelo = Brancellao (Spain) or synonym Alvarelhão (Portugal); Agudelo = Chenin Blanc.
Conclusions: The vines supposed to be Blanco Legítimo and Agudelo recently planted in the Betanzos area had largely been correctly identified by their planters.
Significance and impact of the study: The identification of synonyms has repercussions for the commercial exploitation of these varieties. The implications for Blanco Legítimo are relatively reduced since its synonyms are also grown in minority areas; however, for Serradelo and Agudelo they are more serious because their synonyms are varieties already widely grown. Finally, the present results contribute to our knowledge of the history and movement of grapevine cultivars in Europe.
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