Originally Posted By: Ken Zinns
Originally Posted By: BEB
Originally Posted By: Peter May
Good question, but lets state from the outset that Pinotage is not a hybrid. Neither is Ruby Cabernet mentioned further down.

Maybe we need to step back and define what a hybrid is. The Oxford Companion to Wine and The New Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia both define Pinotage as a hybrid. Ditto Ruby Cabernet.

My understanding is that a hybrid refers only to a cross between Vitis vinifera and non-vinifera varieties. So Pinotage (cross between Cinsault & Pinot Noir) and Ruby Cabernet (cross between Carignane and Cabernet Sauvignon) would not be hybrids under that definition. Sounds like Peter is using the same definition for hybrid.

I suspect so and that would make sense. The OCW has a fairly broad definition that permits both naturally occurring and man-made hybrids, but does not seem to restrict the definition to V.vinifera and v. lambrusca (or other species). When introduced to me (back in the day), Pinotage was described as a French Hybrid which is supported by other sources. If a hybrid is technically v. vinifera and non v. vinifera, then what, technically, is a man-made crossing of v. vinifera with a different v. vinifera (say, crossing pinot noir with syrah)?

But the larger point is, regardless of its scientific cataloging, these 19th and 20th century man-made grapes don't seem to get much respect. Is it lack of quality, lack of education, lack of exposure or long standing bias?

"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd