Colombard is an early fruiting white wine variety of grape, better known as French Colombard in North America.
It is possibly the offspring of Gouais Blanc and Chenin Blanc. In France, it was traditionally grown in the Charentes and Gascony for distilling into Cognac and Armagnac respectively. Today, it is still among the permitted white grape varieties in Bordeaux wine, in Gascony for Vins de Pays Côtes de Gascogne and the white Floc de Gascogne.
Old vine grapes are crushed by some northern Californian producers, which produces a fruity white wine of interesting character in both dry and sweet versions. This grape is mainly grown in California to provide backbone, due to its natural acidic character, for white "jug wine" blends.
In South Africa, it was known as "Hermitage", hence the name of its most famous cross Pinotage.
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