October 20, 2017

Food Pairing With Frontenac

This series of cold climate wine and food pairing articles started with a couple ideas for LaCrescent in a story titled La Crescent Food Pairing Ideas.This time we will consider Frontenac wines and grapes. The Frontenac grape was one of the early releases in a series of wine grapes from the University of Minnesota. Part of its heritage is Old World European grapes and part is the Riparian … [Read more...]

Using Enological Tannin Additions to Enhance Red Wine Structure and Mouthfeel

By Stephanie Groves, Midwest Grape and Wine Industry Institute, Iowa State UniversityThis article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue of  Northern Grapes News, a publication of the Northern Grapes Project.Tannins are important to the quality of red wines, particularly to the color stability and the structure (body and mouthfeel) of the wine. They are also involved in complex … [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...]

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...]

Wisconsin Expert Addresses State of the Grapes

As a result of the number of wineries in Wisconsin almost doubling in just the past several years, there has been an increased demand for wine grapes.  Currently, all of the approximately 1,000 acres of cold hardy grapes being grown in Wisconsin are sold to winemakers.At a recent meeting of the Wisconsin Vintner's Association in Milwaukee, Dr. Dean Volenberg of the University of … [Read more...]

Parallel 44 Winery Masters the Frozen Tundra

February in northeast Wisconsin is bone-chilling cold, but that doesn’t stop Steve Johnson and Maria Milano, owners of Parallel 44 Winery and Vineyard near Kewaunee, Wis., from throwing an outdoor winter wine festival. Last year, about 2,000 hardy souls bundled up to drink wine on the patio and appreciate the past bounty of the snow-covered vineyard.As the winery’s name implies, the property … [Read more...]

Minnesota Winemakers Mastering Ice Wines

The warmest parts of Minnesota are in USDA climate zone 4b so wine grapes there have to withstand -25F from time to time.   Rising to meet the challenge,  The University of Minnesota has developed a cutting edge reputation for developing new varieties of cold climate grapes.  Some of these new grape varietals,  including LaCrescent, Frontenac and Frontenac Gris,  are so new by wine grape standards … [Read more...]

Nan Bailly Guides Alexis Bailly Vineyard

It's possible that winemaker Nan Bailly's kin enjoyed native Minnesota wine during canoe trips through the state in the 1820's when it was still wilderness.  Bailly, owner, winegrower and winemaker at Alexis Bailly Vineyard,  has a picture of her Minnesota voyageur ancestor, also named Alexis Bailly,  in the tasting room of the winery.The original intrepid Bailly explorer would be proud of his … [Read more...]

Four Daughters Winery Opens in Minnesota as Familial Affair

The trend of Midwestern farmers diversifying from row crops to grapes is growing.  For the Vogt family in Southern Minnesota, the motivation for starting the Four Daughters Winery, which opened December 15th,  has much to do with continuing the family farm.Vicky Vogt has farmed the 5,000  acres  that  Four Daughters now partially occupies with her husband Gary for more than 25 years. As she … [Read more...]