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Petit Manseng: What It Is and Where to Find It

New planting of Petit Manseng

New planting of Petit Manseng

Petit Manseng, an aromatic white grape, is found in limited areas of the US and France. The grape is indigenous to the southwest region of France. Petit Manseng does well in high humid regions with long growing seasons because of its characteristic loose bunches and the variety’s thick skin. Frequently Petit Manseng is harvested late, since the grapes stay at a high acidic level while the sugar level increases.

Wine notes: Look for notes of cinnamon, tropical fruits, citrus and peach.

East Coast Wineries Offering Petit Manseng

Chrysalis Vineyards in Middleburg, Virginia: According to the winery, they were the first in America to have a varietally labeled Petit Manseng. The description includes “aromas and flavors of flowers, honey, candied fruit and spice.” It is a dessert wine and suggested pairings include light or lightly flavored desserts and cheese platters.

Prince Michel Vineyard and Winery in Leon, Virginia: Mount Juliet 2008 Petit Manseng  is from the Mount Juliet vineyard along the slopes of the Blue Ridge mountains.

Pearmund Cellars in Broad Run, Virginia describes their 2013 Petit Manseng. “A refreshing and crisp, dry white with notes of grapefruit and lemon peel. Pearmund Cellars is the largest producer of this standout varietal in the Americas.”

Tarara Winery in Leesburg, Virginia: The 2010 Late Harvest Petit Manseng description mentions incredible intensity and notes of rose petal, pineapple, mango, caramel and cinnamon.

Veritas Vineyard & Winery in Afton, Virginia: In addition to a blend with Petit Manseng, Veritas also has a 2013 Petit Manseng. According to their description, “The tropical flavors are jumping out of the glass with pineapple, mango, and candied citrus fruits backed with subtle nuances of spice and white flowers.” The wine has 4% residual sugar.

Linden Vineyards in Linden, Virginia: 2009 Late Harvest Petit Manseng: The owner and winemaker is Jim Law. He describes the aromas of this wine as exotic dried tropical fruits and high notes of balsam and burnt sugar. Jim suggests pairing this late harvest wine with foie gras or fruit desserts – apricots, peaches, pears or dried fruits. The wine also does well with ripe triple cream cheeses and sheep cheeses from Virginia and the Pyrenees.

As you travel to wineries on the East Coast of the United States or in southern France, look for wines made with Petit Manseng.

If you are visiting Pearmund Cellars this weekend for their Barrel Tasting event be sure to stop by the tasting counter and ask to taste their Petit Manseng.



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