Picpoul Grapes

Piquepoul, Picpoul, or Picapoll is a variety of wine grape grown primarily in the Rhone Valley and Languedoc regions of France as well as Catalonia, Spain. It exists both in dark-skinned (Piquepoul noir) and light-skinned (Piquepoul blanc) versions, as well as a very little grown Piquepoul gris. Piquepoul blanc is the most common of the Piquepouls, with 1,000 hectares (2,500 acres) cultivated in France in 2000, and an increasing trend.

Piquepoul tends to bud late and has some sensitivity to powdery mildew.

In Languedoc, Piquepoul blanc is used both for blending and for varietal wines. Red wines produced from Picpoul noir are high in alcohol, are richly scented, but have a very pale colour, which has made the variety more popular as a blending ingredient than as a producer of varietal wines.

Both the blanc and noir versions of Piquepoul are permitted blending grapes for the production of Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape. However, in 2004 only 0.15% of the appellation’s surface was planted with the Piquepoul varieties.

In the New World, Piquepoul is being successfully grown in the foothills of the Chiricahua Mountains (5000 feet above sea level) in the Willcox AVA of southern Arizona. It is also grown in the Red Mountain AVA of eastern Washington State.

Piquepoul blanc is being grown in Sonoma, California.

Piquepoul blanc is also grown successfully in the Texas Hill Country AVA and Texas High Plains AVAs.

In Australia, Piquepoul blanc was first planted in 2013, and the first commercial release of wine was in 2017. Cuttings of the variety were imported for the wine’s suitability for drinking with oysters.