The Astor Wines & Spirits Glossary


Colombard was traditionally used, with Ugni Blanc and Folle Blanche, to make cognac. It fell out of fashion in France in the 1970s, but at the same time caught on in California, and soon became the most widely planted grape in the state (where it was known as French Colombard). There, it was widely used to produce sweet yet crisp bulk wines. Seeing what the Americans had done, the French would soon welcome the grape back into the fold, taking advantage of California's advances in winemaking technology and adding Colombard to the blend known as Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, which became quite popular. "Columbar," as it is known in South Africa, is one of the country's principal grape varieties, and is mostly used to make low-priced, pleasant, off-dry whites.
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