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Agronomic and Analytic Clonal Variability of the Grapevine Cultivar Chasselas

Maigre, Dominique
Acta horticulturae 2003 no.603 pp. 115-120
agronomic traits, biotypes, clonal variation, clones, cultivars, grapes, sensory properties, vineyards, winemaking, wines, Switzerland
Switzerland is the only country in the world where Chasselas is cultivated on a broad scale for wine production. As with other grape varieties, Chasselas presents an important genetic variability, either of morphological traits, or of analytical composition (musts and wines) or even of sensory characteristics. The clones and selections currently used are however too productive, one of them being very widely used by the nurserymen for several decades. In order to avoid genetic impoverishment of the reproductive material, the Swiss Federal Research Station for Plant Production of Changins carried out a program of selection aiming at locating particular biotypes in very old vineyards. As first step, an experiment of 18 clones was conducted whose results are presented in this paper. In spite of the large variability of the Chasselas variety, it is difficult to find clones having at the same time good agronomic characteristics and excellent sensory qualities. Within the framework of this experiment however, it was possible to select 5 clones that enabled us to increase the diversity of the available plant material for this variety in Switzerland. In the future, other new clones may be proposed for multiplication at the end of another experiment currently in progress.