April 24, 2017

What Should We Call Wines That Are Not From Warm Places?

Last year,  I wrote about David Taub whose main claim to fame was changing the name of an Italian wine from “Cantini Viticoltori del Trentino” to “Cavit” during the 70's, thereby creating a market for Pinot Grigio in the United States.   The Californians pulled off a similar marketing coup around the same time by replacing the confusing French AOC wine names with varietal names.These … [Read more...]

John Marshall: My Favorite Red Wine Grapes

This article is a companion to an earlier piece describing cold hardy white grapes that seem to have found their niche in a crisp, flowery and fruity style.Cold hardy reds, on the other hand, do not seem to have found their place or their style and as yet.  They do not seem to get the respect their white counterparts are beginning to enjoy.Even so, these reds make palatable and interesting … [Read more...]

Red Storm Rising Across Northern Wineries

Cold hardy red wine grapes appear to be in a kind of limbo, looking for an identity, a style, a flavor profile to call their own. Unlike the hardy whites that seem to have found a light, flowery, fruity, crispness that cannot be found out west or nearly anywhere, our reds seem to be trying to imitate California.To be sure our reds have improved in palatability but until we become comfortable … [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...]

What’s The Most Popular Wine Grape in the Midwest?

We don't know the most popular grape in the Midwest, but we do know the most popular wine grape in Midwest Wine Press.Over the past 22 months, Midwest Wine Press has published 15 varietal profile stories, all featuring cultivars that are growing successfully in the Midwest.Here, in no particular order,  are the five most popular varietal profile stories in Midwest Wine Press.  To see the … [Read more...]

Forbes Lauds Baco Noir

Baco Noir is a wine that we'd like to see more often in the Midwest.   It grows well in the Hudson Valley of New York, so Baco would grow here too.Recently, Baco even attracted attention in Forbes magazine.  If it's becoming socially acceptable to drink hybrid wines in New York, then the Midwest can't be too far behind.  (You'll also find a link to a story from the New York Times about … [Read more...]

Demand For Traminette Increasing

Traminette is an interspecific hybrid grape cultivar that was bred in 1965 in Illinois. One of the notable parents of Traminette is Gewürztraminer. Traminette was publicly released by Cornell University in 1996, and has been increasingly used in many parts of the U.S. While this grape cultivar is much cold-hardier than its notable parent, it is still limited in where it can be grown.One … [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...]

La Crescent: A Winemaker’s Grape

The first time I had a glass of wine made from La Crescent, I was completely blown away.Reminiscent of an aromatic white that might come from Germany or Austria, my mind started spinning with all the potential this grape has for winemakers in Minnesota. The high acidity makes it relatively versatile for various winemaking styles from dry to sweet or even fortified dessert wines, while the … [Read more...]

Northern White Hybrids Form a New Class of Wine

I was in Arizona years ago attending a wedding and I sought out some local wineries to satisfy my curiosity. It was fascinating seeing vineyards clinging to arid mountainsides, some bordered by impossible looking desert rivers. I recall thinking how different each of these wines would be, each in its own mini-climate.Alcantara Winery is at the confluence of the Verde River and Oak Creek, … [Read more...]