The mystery of Sercialinho

At the time of launching Série Ímpar Sercialinho 2017, one of Sogrape’s latest novelties, the mystery surrounding the origin of this rare Portuguese grape variety took root. After various contacts with leading domestic and international institutions dedicated to grape variety genetics, the answer is now here: Vital and Uva Cão are the official parents of the Sercialinho grape variety.

In the world of wine, history is written not only with the launch of each new harvest or the unveiling of a new wine or brand. The far-reaching world of grape varieties, in and of itself, hides countless mysteries and stories to be discovered.

At the end of 2019, the launch of Série Ímpar – Sogrape’s new undertaking to create inspiring, original, special and unique wines – brought with it a Sercialinho 2017. The arrival of this white wine from Bairrada was marked by talk and conjecture surrounding the origin of this rare Portuguese grape variety of tremendous potential.

In cooperation with domestic and international partners, Sogrape has promoted dialogue on the diversity of Portuguese grape varieties. For this reason, its R&D department is organising existing information on their genealogies. Even before the wine’s launch, DNA had already confirmed that Sercial and Alvarinho were not the parents of Sercialinho, as had been assumed in the past.

Together with leading research centres in vine genetics in Portugal (BIOCANT, INIAV, PORVID) and in Germany (JKI), Vital was identified as one of the parents, while the other remained unknown. Recently, a Portuguese and Spanish study published in a renowned scientific journal confirmed the identity of the second parent: Uva Cão. This unexpected discovery also revealed that Sercialinho had a sister – Malvasia de São Jorge, also known as Malvasia in the Madeira region.

On a curious note, since knowledge doesn’t take up any space, Vital is also known in certain regions as: Boal Bonifácio, Malvasia Corada and Cagado dos Pardais. Uva Cão, on the other hand, is sometimes called Cachorrinho or Casarinho. Despite their peculiar appeal to the sense of the imagination, none of these synonyms are officially recognised.

At a Sogrape full of stories and so avid for knowledge, these discoveries by its scientific partners have confirmed the authenticity, origin and identity of its wines, rooted in a botanical and cultural heritage conserved in Portugal.

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