December 1, 2015

Cab Dore’ Combines Best of Old and New Worlds

 Homepage photo: Joseph and Lucian Dressel When you read all the old grape breeding literature from John Adlum to George Hussmann to U.P. Hedrick to Philip Wagner, the one common theme is the endless search for high quality wine grapes that will grow in the East. Wagner, as the promoter and propagator of the French Hybrids, is really the founder of the modern Eastern wine industry, yet … [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...]

Identifying Herbicide Drift Damage

Last week I had the opportunity to travel around the southwestern part of Ohio and west central Ohio with my partner in crime Dr. Gary Gao. We visited several vineyards and witnessed herbicide injury in all of the vineyards with the exception of one. The one vineyard that did not exhibit any injury to herbicide was totally isolated from any corn or soybean fields. What’s the connection?Too … [Read more...]

Walker’s Bluff Introduces Illinois Pinot Gris

Walker's Bluff Winery near Carbondale, Illinois, has bottled an estate grown Pinot Grigio, according to winemaker Chelsea Mulinax.  Also in production at Walker's Bluff are several other wines made from vinifera grapes that have not been produced in Illinois for generations, if ever.   Among the other wines that Walker's Bluff will be bottling using grapes from their 14 acre vineyard are Barbera, … [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...]

Marquette Wine Has Pinot In Its Blood

For the most part, the wines that you drink today are made from the same grapes as the wines your grandparents and great-grandparents drank. The great wine grapes of the world have been around for several hundred years, and some of them for much longer than that.For example, the Georgian grape Rkatsiteli is thought by some authorities to date back to 3000 BC, while the Greek grape Limnio was … [Read more...]

Petite Pearl in the Bottle at Paralell 44

According to Steve Johnson at Parallel 44 Winery in Kewaunee, Wisconsin, the first commercial wine made from the new Petite Pearl Grape was bottled at the end of April. "You can't really compare Petite Pearl to vinifera," Johnson said. "However, the wine does have Syrah like qualities. It also has good tannins and structure and I think there is potential for aging."Parallel 44 produced 25 … [Read more...]

Grape Flea Beetle Likes Cool Springs

Dr. Dean Volenberg's Vineyard IPM Scouting Report is back for 2013!  During the growing season,  Dr. Volenberg of the University of Wisconsin Extension in Door County puts out a weekly newsletter covering just about everything that can happen to a vine or a grape in the Midwest.This week he explains why your should be on the lookout for grape flea beetles.  The cold spring has created … [Read more...]