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Chardonnay top 15 clones to have their DNA mapped

Buying a bad bottle of Chardonnay laced with bitter tannins may soon be a thing of the past if Hennie van Vuuren has his way. Together with the Wine Research Centre at the University of British Columbia the genes of 15 known clones of the Chardonnay grape vine will be mapped over 2 years in an effort to identify which ones are best for planting. The project should help growers around the world pick the right clone for their individual geography. And that should mean better production and more consistent results.

There are so many varietals of the Chardonnay clone, each with its own distinct properties, such as early or late ripening, loose or small bunches, seedless or large berries - each of these properties might be important for certain areas.

That's no small matter in British Colombia, where the Chardonnay grape is the second most-planted white varietal grape behind Pinot Gris, and the most popular white wine in the world.