Winegrowers Supplies - Vine variety information
Saphira (originally known as Gm 7815-1)
Mother: Arnsburger (Riesling Gm 88 x Gm 64)
Father: Seyve-Villard 1-72 (Rayon d'Or x Bertille Seyve 450)
A white Piwi/disease-resistant variety.
Year of breeding: 1978 by Professor Dr. Helmut Becker (1927 - 1990)
Country of origin: Germany
Breeder/License holder: Forschungsanstalt Geisenheim / Rheingau, Institut für Rebenzüchtung und Rebenveredlung.
Number of clones:
Year of entry into the German Federal Office's Varieties Register:
Area planted in Germany in 2018: 11 hectares
Area planted in England:
- colour: yellow-green to yellow
- bouquet: neutral, good aroma
- palate: in the style of Pinot blanc or Auxerrois but more fruity, full bodied.
photo by Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof - 76833 Siebeldingen, Germany.
Time of bud-burst: early to middle
Strength of growth: strong, upright
Growth of side-shoots: very low
Flowering time: early to middle
Flowering strength: high
- size: medium
- shape: three lobed
- colour: green with red flecks
- surface undulation: low to middle
- petiolar sinus: open
- size: medium
- density: medium
- size: small to medium
- shape: kugel form
- skin colour: yellow-green
Time of veraison: middle to late
Time of harvest: middle to late
Grape yield: middle to high
Must-weight: middle to high
Wood ripening: early and very high
Winter hardiness: medium to high
Wood colour: red-brown
- Oidium: medium
- Peronospora: high
- Botrytis: medium
- Roter Brenner:
Normal stem height:
Normal row spacing:
Vine spacing in the row:
Winter Pruning: eyes/buds per sq. metre of land occupied by the plant.
Advantages: can achieve high ripeness, with good acidity.
Olaf Johannesson in Sweden reports: I am still very positive to Saphira, but it is correct that it ripens late.
Normally it is ripe enough since I make sparkling wine of it but in the worst years like 2015 it was still unripe at the end of October.
In 2018 though it was so ripe that I made a still wine of it, above 90 Oe and with pleasant aromas. I think of Vermentino when I drink it.
It’s very robust to cold and to mildews. The leafwork is very easy.
It’s also true that the acidity stays very high but doesn’t taste sharply acidic. It tastes less acidic than it is.
All in all a good variety for sparkling wine in our climate but a bit late to trust for making still white wine. In the poorest years I blend it with Solaris.