April 27, 2015

Walker’s Bluff Introduces Illinois Pinot Gris

Tempranillo vines that were planted in 2008 grow at Walker's Bluff Winery near Carbondale, Illinois.

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 La Crescent Grape, developed at the University of Minnesota

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

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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

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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

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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...]

Midwest Vineyards Surprised by Historic Snow and Cold

Unusual wintry conditions, including the first May snowfalls in more than a century, have surprised many Midwest vineyards. To find out how these unusual conditions are impacting on vines, Midwest Wine Press consulted with wineries across the central Midwest.IowaMWP suggested to Bob Wersen, owner of Tassel Ridge Winery in Leighton, southern Iowa, that the current weather is pretty … [Read more...]

Missouri Experimental Cultivar Tasting

Stephen Littlefield of Edg-Clif Farms and Vineyard smells wine in the sixth flight of the Experimental Cultivar Wine Tasting on Tuesday, March 26.

Missouri weather always seems to impede on its state’s wineries. From harsh, cold winters to potentially drought-filled summers, the weather is tough on grapes.“There are wines from four or five grape varieties that you will find as you visit any of Missouri’s 110 wineries,” said Michael Leonardelli, an extension associate enologist at the University of Missouri (MU). “There’s a limited number … [Read more...]

Ozonated Water: Vineyard Pest Control Without Chemicals

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Until recently, the prospect of a grape growing industry in the Midwest without the use of chemicals may have seemed impossible. Throughout our region, insects, plant diseases and weeds thrive in the summer heat and humidity. Many grape growers say that without agricultural chemicals, they could not produce a consistent crop.But some winemakers say the widespread reliance on chemicals has … [Read more...]

Northern Hybrids- A New Class of Grapes

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There is no shortage of hybrid grapes or classes of hybrid grapes these days.  French hybrids, German hybrids,  California hybrids, Cornell hybrids, Labrusca hybrids, Riparia hybrids;  the list goes on and on.  However, a new class of hybrids has emerged in the last twenty years or so, grapes we have come to call Northern hybrids.  These grapes are making wine grape growing practical in cold … [Read more...]