March 26, 2017

Lemberger- A Cold Hardy Vinifera

Hidden among the twenty one varieties and forty acres of vines at Domaine Berrien Cellars and Winery in southwest Michigan is a two acre patch of hardy Austrian grapes known as Lemberger. Owner and winemaker Wally Maurer first encountered this grape in Germany while touring Europe with his father-in-law in the early 1990’s. He says it was his love of wine and the similarity of growing conditions … [Read more...]

How to Get Pesticide Certified

For many of us working in the field of viticulture, applying pesticides to grapes is a necessity. Pesticide application is a useful skill, and one that involves education combined with hands-on experience to learn. However, navigating the path to getting certified can be confusing.Let's start with the basics.  Certification by your state government is required to apply many commonly used … [Read more...]

Foch Maintains a Midwest Following

 When the Marechal Foch wine grape was introduced in 1920, the name "Foch" probably seemed like a winner.  At the time, WW I French General Ferdinand Foch was a well know public figure for his role in ending the Great War.Today, General Foch  (pronounced "Fosh") is all but forgotten except for the European streets that bear his name.  The Foch grape has also lost ground. Dozens of … [Read more...]

Can Pinot Blanc Be Michigan’s Signature Grape?

In Northern Michigan, a small number of producers are working with a grape that could have great potential for the region's growing wine business. Although Pinot Blanc has been around for many years, it has only recently made its way to Michigan. Pinot Blanc is a medium to high vigor grape, usually grown on a VSP trellis system, and grafted to rootstock such as 3309.A genetic mutation of Pinot … [Read more...]

Downstream from St. Paul Is the St. Pepin Grape

The St.Pepin wine grape is partially named for the Lake Pepin, a 40 square mile lake in the Mississippi River.  Most of the St. Pepin wine made in the U.S. is produced in the two states on either side of Lake Pepin, Minnesota and Wisconsin.Like many creations of legendary grape breeder Elmer Swenson, St. Pepin is a wonderful contribution to cold-climate grape varieties. Whether it is used as a … [Read more...]

Leelanau Northern Loop 2nd Annual New Release Wine Competition

The wineries of the Northern Loop of the Leelanau Wine Trail held their second annual New Release Competition and Tasting at Verterra Winery in Leland Michigan on Friday, April 26. Seventeen wines and three ciders were debuted at the competition, which included offerings from all ten of the wineries in the Northern Loop of the Leelanau Peninsula. The wines and ciders were from the 2011-2012 … [Read more...]

Great Lakes Gewurztraminer: Easier to Drink Than Say

The temptation to skip over Gewurztraminer due to its difficult pronunciation may be great for many wine drinkers. Some people within the industry even speculate that the name might be a little intimidating for people to pronounce, perhaps preventing them from even trying the wine. However, customers might want to put aside their embarrassment and give it their best shot. The reward is definitely … [Read more...]

Coming Soon: A New Red Wine That’s a Pearl

A new hybrid red wine, Petite Pearl, is now in production at several Midwest wineries and should be available soon. 2012 will be the first commercial vintage of Petite Pearl. Previously, only test samples have been made.Bred by Tom Plocher in 1996, Petite Pearl is a cross between MN 1094 and E.S. 4-7-26. ("MN" and "E.S" are abbreviations for The University of Minnesota and Elmer Swenson.) … [Read more...]

Great Lakes Riesling Steps Onto The World Stage

Riesling originated in the Germany's Rhine and Mosel valleys in the 1400's. The grape is currently grown across the globe; South Africa has Cape Riesling,  British Columbia has Okanagan Riesling and Bulgaria has Misket, a Riesling hybrid.  Now there's a new Riesling producer on the world stage:  The Great Lakes region of the United States.From the Leelanau Peninsula of Michigan to Ohio's Grand … [Read more...]

Vignoles Rises Above Hybrid Stigma

From Ohio to Missouri, Vignoles is earning the praise of critics and wine drinkers who are now recognizing the quality of regional wines made from hybrid grapes.  Vignoles is an especially versatile grape; it can be picked midseason or left on the vine until the grapes are raisins. Vignoles can also make dry wine, dessert wine, or ice wine.See related story:  River City Vignoles Wins 2012 Indy … [Read more...]