June 23, 2017

La Crescent Food Pairing Ideas

Food and Wine. Wine and Food. No wonder it can be challenging when we can’t even decide which one comes first. My wife and I have done literally dozens of wine pairing sessions in different formats around the world. Large and small, at wineries and restaurants (both brick and mortar and pop-ups.) Many were fantastic experiences, but as with any art, questions remain.The main thing I reminded … [Read more...]

John Marshall’s Favorite White Hybrid Grapes

I was invited to a wedding some years ago now, outside Phoenix, Arizona. Since I arrived in Arizona a day early, I was interested to see what the famous varieties of Europe might do in the high arid climes above Phoenix. The climate is so unlike California or Bordeaux I was hoping to find some surprises but was disappointed that most of the wines were imported directly from California. I found an … [Read more...]

I80 Wine Tour Through Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska

This article is the second installment of a two-part article about wine tourism along Interstate 80 in the Midwest.  In the first article, we visited Ohio and Indiana.  Now join us on a winery trip along I80 through Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.IllinoisTraveling west from Indiana,  I80 runs for 175 miles across Northern Illinois, crossing the Mississippi River in Rock Island, Illinois. … [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...]

Promising Wine Grape Varieties for the Midwest

How can we expand promising wine grape varieties across the Midwest?Dr. Paolo Sabbatini of Michigan State University and Dr. Bruce Bordelon of Purdue University, recently discussed the potential for specific cultivars in the Midwest during the 2013 Michigan Grape and Wine Conference in East Lansing. Both Sabattini and Bordelon commented on the how young their state's respective wine industries … [Read more...]

Four Daughters Wins Top Honors at Cold Climate Contest

The 2011 LaCrescent from Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery in Spring Valley, MN won the Governor's Cup at the 2012 International Cold Climate Competition in St. Paul.The Minnesota Governor's Cup, a large silver ice bucket, recognizes the "Best of Show" or top prize of all Minnesota gold-winning wines. This is fourth year the traveling trophy has been awarded.See related story:  Four … [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...]