Fer wine grapes in Western Australia

Page last updated: Wednesday, 14 June 2017 - 2:51pm

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Fer is a French variety known to produce concentrated wines of good colour with a medium to full body. Wine aroma and flavour are typified by dark fruits and spice with soft tannins.

Fer grapevines were evaluated for fruit and wine production in Manjimup from 2007 to 2010. Fer was found to be late ripening when grown here although it showed good disease resistance.

Fer at Manjimup

Also known as Fer Servadou, this French variety is grown throughout the south-west of France. The word ‘fer’ in French means ‘iron’ which is derived from the vine's hard, tough trunk and canes rather than the resulting wines.

Fer (clone 10-26A1) was identified by the wine industry as having potential for the development of premium WA wine. Vines were therefore planted for evaluation in Manjimup in 2003.

Timing of key phenology stages

Budburst

(E-L 4)

Full bloom

(E-L 23)

Veraison

(E-L 35)

Harvest

(E-L 38)

Late September

Early December

Late February

Mid-late April

Fer vines established well in trials at Manjimup, producing adequate crops of disease-free fruit. However, fruit yield produced from Fer vines decreased during this evaluation with management of vines subsequently changed to cane-pruning to facilitate additional fruit production.

Fruit produced can have difficulty in achieving sugar accumulation in later ripening years, however Fer shows low susceptibility to Botrytis.

Production characteristics

Productivity

Medium

Berry weight

Medium

Bunch weight

Medium

Fruit yield/vine

7kg

Disease susceptibility

Low

Equivalent yield/ha

11.6t

Bunch compaction

Medium-high

Vigour

Medium-high

Juice TSS (°Brix)

22.9

Juice Baumé

12.7

Juice pH

3.4

Juice TA g/L

6.6

Fruit contains mulberry flavours with firm, crunchy skins and phenolic characteristics. Wines are medium-bodied, have soft tannins with white pepper and cherry aromas and flavours.

Wine judging results

Points awarded out of a maximum of 20

2009 Winemakers Panel

2010 Timber Towns Wine Show

14.7

15.4

Contact information

Richard Fennessy
+61 (0)8 9780 6219

Author

Kristen Brodison