Old vine grapes are crushed by some northern Californian producers and made into a fruity white wine of interesting character in both dry and sweet versions. This grape is mainly grown in California to provide backbone, due to its natural acidic character, for white "jug wine" blends.
Folle blanche was the traditional grape variety of the Cognac and Armagnac regions of France. It is also known as Picpoule (with various variations of spelling (Piquepoul, Picpoul), although it is in fact unrelated to the Picpoul of the Languedoc) as well as Gros Plant and Enrageat blanc. Folle blanche is an offspring of Gouais blanc, with the other parent so far unidentified.
It has been mostly replaced by its hybrid offspring Baco blanc due to phylloxera damage. Baco blanc (also known as Baco 22 A) is a cross of Folle blanche and the Vitis riparia × Vitis labrusca hybrid Noah. Folle blanche is also the parent of the very hardy and disease-resistant Baco 1 (or Baco noir), a cross of Folle blanche and a Vitis riparia variety. Baco noir and Baco 22 A, like Folle blanche and their other parents, produce a very acid wine. This makes them more suited to distillation than less acidic grapes.
Ugni Blanc (Trebbiano) is the second most widely planted grape in the world. It gives good yields, but tends to yield undistinguished wine. It can be fresh and fruity, but does not keep long. Its high acidity makes it important in Armagnac production.
Ugni Blanc may have originated in the Eastern Mediterranean, and was known in Italy in Roman times. A subtype was recognized in Bologna in the thirteenth century, and as Ugni blanc made its way to France, possibly during the Papal retreat to Avignon in the fourteenth century.
Baco blanc was developed to produce some of the same flavors as Folle blanche but without the susceptibility to American grape disease and phylloxera. In the 20th century it was widely planted in the Gascony region for uses in brandy production. Both Armagnac and Cognac (from the Charentes and Charente-Maritimedistricts north of Gascony) are brandies made from white grapes - Ugni blanc, Folle blanche and Colombard - but only Armagnac was permitted under French regulations to use Baco blanc and until the late 1970s, Baco blanc was the primary grape of Armagnac.