An early ripening grape
Ortega is a grape variety used for white wine. It was created in 1948 by Hans Breider at the Bayerischen Landesanstalt für Wein-, Obst- und Gartenbau in Würzburg and was released with varietal protection in 1981.It is a cross between Müller-Thurgau and SiegerrebeBreider chose to name the variety in honour of the Spanish poet and philosopher José Ortega y Gasset
The grape can produce rich, flowery, peachy wines, with high natural sugar levels. However, its generally low acidity and its susceptibility to fungal diseases and coulure have limited its use. It is also used to sweeten other wines.
For many Vancouver and Gulf Islands producers, the signature white grape is Ortega. It is a wonderful cold climate grape. The grape is popular in the northern Okanagan. Larch Hills in Salmon Arm has always been a strong produce of Ortega wines. In Tappin look for Sunnybrae winery. It can also be found in Nova Scotia. Ortega has a good following in England and Germany.
On the Island Peter Ellmann winemaker and owner of Muse Winery has produce some outstanding wines. Cherry Point is another fine producer.
In Nova Scotia look for Domaine de Grand Pré Ortega. The Skimmerhorn Winery, located in the pristine Creston Valley in the Kootenay region of British Columbia has produced some award winning Ortega wines. In the Fraser Vally of BC Chaberton Estate Winery Ortega is popular.
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