April 27, 2017

Making Marquette: In the Vineyard

A decade after Marquette's release by the University of Minnesota, Midwest Wine Press is checking in on its progress with help from Calico Skies winemaker, Will Kimberley. Marquette is one of the only grape varieties capable of making quality dry red wine in the colder parts of our region. The variety was developed by the University of Minnesota’s well respected cold hardy grape breeding … [Read more...]

B2B: Stone Hill Triumphs at Norton Blind Tasting

For nearly three years, a small collection of Norton wines has been aging in the basement downstairs. The diminutive gathering of five bottles, all from Missouri wineries and most from the 2009 vintage, is the first wine I’ve ever stored for more than a few weeks. The fact that they’ve survived for this long is testimony to an ongoing curiosity about this grape, which many others share.See … [Read more...]

Frontenac Blanc’s Promising Future

Frontenac blanc, a mutation of Frontenac gris, is the latest member of the Frontenac grape family. Viticulture experts say the variety was first observed in Quebec during 2005 and that the mutation was probably taking place at several Canadian and Minnesota vineyards at roughly the same time.The parent grape, Frontenac, was introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1996. This dark … [Read more...]

Game Changer Grape is a Little Pearl

The 2014 Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference led to the typical dissemination and confluence -or occasional clash- of ideas that makes a conference of this nature so infectious.  Although, it has been argued that there are too many such conferences in the Midwest, the goal is to leave having learned something new, providing material for future experimentation and execution in the … [Read more...]

Labrusca Wines Deserve More Respect

When discussing wine, it is close to fatal to suggest a wine is a Labrusca or even has some Labrusca characteristics. Winemakers, enthusiasts and sommeliers will drop the discussion like it was a cold that is still contagious. No wine professional wants to be consorting with or making wine from any Labrusca variety.To understand how Labrusca wines are viewed in the U.S. today, we must … [Read more...]

St. Vincent: Missouri’s Mystery Grape

The French-American hybrid grape St. Vincent is an orphan. Or at least, that is how it is perceived to be.Unlike most other hybrid grape varietals found in Missouri, St. Vincent’s parentage is largely unknown. Winemaker Jerry Mueller at Robbler Vineyard and Winery says there are some who believe it comes from a spontaneous and natural hybridization of Chambourcin (a French-American … [Read more...]

Frontenac Outgrows Wild Youth

The Frontenac wine grape started with a graduate student on a canoe trip.   While paddling through the suburbs of Minneapolis during 1976, a University of Minnesota graduate student named Patrick Pierquet found the wild parent of Frontenac growing along the Minnesota River.  (Pierquet is now the enology wine lab manager at Ohio State University in Wooster.) Back at the … [Read more...]

Riedel to Create First Ever Vignoles Glass

On December 6th,  Riedel, the world's leading wine glass company, will host a meeting at Mount Pleasant Winery in Augusta to help design the world's first glass for Vignoles.  Flying in from Austria for the event will be George Riedel,  head of the company that bears the family's name.Also in attendance will be a panel of 20 wine industry professionals who will taste Vignoles from 12 different … [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...]

Northern Minnesota Vineyard Trial Results

Data from the first phase of a major Minnesota vineyard trial has been tabulated, according to Dennis Emslie Drummond, VESTA Coordinator at Central Lakes College in Staples, Minnesota, about 130 miles northeast of the Twin Cities.Drummond planted an experimental vineyard at Central Lakes during 2011 as part of a $203,000, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation. The project … [Read more...]