César (grape)

Grape (Vitis)
Species Vitis vinifera
Also called Romain, Picorneau (more)
Origin France
Notable regions northern Burgundy
Notable wines Bourgogne-Irancy

César is an ancient red wine grape from northern Burgundy. It makes dark, tannic wines that are softened by blending with Pinot noir.[1]


The name and the alternative of Romain refer to the tradition that César was brought to Burgundy by Roman legionaries.

However DNA fingerprinting has shown that it is the result of a cross between Pinot noir and Argant. Argant is a Spanish grape that was certainly grown in the Jura in the 19th century.

Distribution and Wines

Almost all César is found northwest of Dijon towards Chablis in the département of Yonne. It is best known in the red wines of Irancy, but may also be blended into rosé, clairet and Bourgogne mousseux.

Vine and Viticulture

César is an early budding variety, which makes it very vulnerable to frost in Burgundy. It is also fairly susceptible to mildew.


Céear, Céelar, Célar, Gros Monsieur, Gros noir, Picargneau, Picargniol, Picargniot, Picarniau, Picorneau, Romain, Romano, Ronçain,[2] César noir, Hureau, Lombard

See also

  • Pinotage, a South African grape also bred by crossing Pinot with a Mediterranean variety.

Notes and references

  1. J. Robinson Vines, Grapes & Wines pg 200 Mitchell Beazley 1986 ISBN 978-1-85732-999-5
  2. Maul, Erika; Töpfer, Reinhard; Eibach, Rudolf (2007). "Vitis International Variety Catalogue". Institute for Grapevine Breeding Geilweilerhof (IRZ), Siebeldingen, Germany. Retrieved 2007-08-29.

Further reading

  • Robinson, Jancis Vines, Grapes & Wines Mitchell Beazley 1986 ISBN 1-85732-999-6
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