Abouriou is a red skinned grape variety with one of those exotic sounding names that provides passage for the imagination to venture all around the wine world, ambling about while trying to place the supposed accent or nomenclature, in any given region. As it turns out, the region from whence this oddly sounding grape variety hails is the deep south west of France.
Abouriou is useful in that its sturdy physiognomy, together with its proclivity for early ripening, allows for the capacity to obviate fungal disease pressures and other issues that are inherent to the humid and erratic climate in this part of the world. These include a slower ripening window that is intrinsic to full phenolic ripeness and balanced grapes, and thus, poised wine. This is important in lieu of the high level of tannins in this variety, despite relatively modest acidity.
Abouriou's apparent obscurity is defied-at least in statistical terms-by its abundant hectarage and relative ubiquity-from the Côtes du Marmandais, Jurançon and beyond; totaling in excess of 338 hectares.
Abouriou is also found in many red Vins de Pays of the south west, although the most intriguing aspect of its history perhaps, was its quasi identity as Pinot Noir in the early days of Californian viticulture.