Washington, June 2 : A researcher on Greek wine history says that the balisca wine played a crucial role in the evolution of grapes in southwest France.
Miles Lambert-Gocs also considers the balisca wine, which Pliny identified as Greek in the 1st century AD, to be the oldest specifiable source of cabernet.
A Wine Appreciation Guild announcement says that Pliny wrote that the balisca was already present in Rome's Spanish provinces in his time.
"It is likely that the balisca began crossing over the Pyrenees into southwestern France as early as that, since its quality was already recognized," says Lambert-Gocs.
Lambert-Gocs compared Pliny's information about the balisca with modern Greek and Albanian descriptions of native grapes.
The purpose behind that study was to trace the identity of Pliny's balisca and the 'black volitsa' of the northwestern Peloponnese, and the "vlosh" of coastal Albania, where ancient Greek colonies flourished.
The researcher found that key traits of the volitsa (balisca) to be present in Cabernet Sauvignon, as specified and sourced in the addendum report in 'Desert Island Wine', according to the author.