Bacchus (originally known as Gf. 33-29-133)
Mother: (Silvaner x Riesling)
Year of breeding: by Peter Morio and Professor Husfeld.
Country of origin: Germany
Breeder/License holder: Bundesforschungsanstalt für Rebenzüchtung Geilweilerhof, Siebeldingen/Rheinpfalz
Number of clones: 2 in 2008: Gf 1 and ST 14
Year of entry into the German Federal Office's Varieties Register: 1972
Area planted in Germany: 3525 hectares in 1994; 2967 hectares in 2001.
In the 1980s it spread very rapidly, in 1986 it was the seventh most widely planted, an astonishing spread for a 'new' variety. Since then it has gradually declined in popularity.
Area planted in England (as at August 2004): 74.3 hectares, 4th largest
Wine Character - colour: yellow-green
- bouquet: aromatic, grapey, Muscat
- palate: fruity, herby, spicy, soft
The wine is fruity, rich in extract and bouquet, and at 75 to 80° Oechsle the full flavour is developed. If a high acidity can be retained (countering the strong Muscat flavour) the wine is at its best and it is sometimes known as "early Scheurebe". It is generally unattractive as dry wine (with less than 9 gms/litre of residual sugar) so some addition of süss-reserve is usually made.
Time of bud-burst: middle
Strength of growth: medium-strong, upright
Growth of side-shoots: low to medium (strong tendrils)
Flowering time: middle to late
Flowering strength: high
Leaf: - size: medium
- shape: weakly three-lobed
- colour: yellow-green
- surface undulation: slight - petiolar sinus: V-form, slightly open
Grape bunch: - size: medium - density:
Berries: - size: medium - shape: oval to round
- skin colour: green-yellow
Time of veraison: early to middle
Time of harvest: middle (or slightly later)
Grape yield: medium-high
Must-weight: medium to medium-high
Wood ripening: good
Winter hardiness: medium (to good)
Wood colour: yellow-brown to red-brown with dark red-brown stripes
Chlorosis resistance: medium
Susceptibility to - Oidium: low-medium - Peronospora: low
- Botrytis: low-medium - Roter Brenner:
- Phomopsis: slight - Stem-atrophy: a slight weakness
To avoid disease it is important that good air-circulation occurs around the vines, ideally there should be a small gap in the leaf-wall between each plant.
Preferred soil: deep, very fertile. In extremely dry soils it can suffer from dryness/sunburn damage to the berries called "Bacchus sickness". My observation is that the flavour is at its' best when grown in chalk/limestone soil.
Suitable rootstocks: SO4, Binova, 5C on strong-growing soil, possibly 125AA on weak-growing soils. Not 5BB which would produce too much leaf.
Normal stem height: 0.7 to 0.8m
Normal row spacing: 1.8 to 2.0m
Vine spacing in the row: 1.2 to 1.3m
Winter Pruning: 6 to 8 (max 10) eyes/buds per sq. metre of land occupied by the plant.
Advantages: High yield, good wood-ripening, an uncomplicated variety, easy to grow.
Disadvantages: Very slight weakness for stem-atrophy, no real disadvantages.