August 17, 2017

Tom Plocher’s New Grapes Are Spreading

University grape breeding programs - like Cornell and Minnesota- grab a lot of attention. But private grape breeders continue to develop many of the grapes that are used to make cold hardy wines.One of the most prolific and successful creators of cold hardy wine grapes is Tom Plocher. He has been artfully using selective breeding in his vineyard since 1996.  Among his mentors is the … [Read more...]

Should New Hybrid Grapes Be More Old World?

Evaluating wine is no easy job.Many art forms - like music and painting- continually develop new genres to accommodate new influences.  But wine is different.  Even today, wine appreciation is based on the proposition that a very limited number of grapes can produce "quality" wine.The highly subjective nature of wine comparison creates a dilemma for Midwest winemakers.  Non-European grapes … [Read more...]

Game Changer Grape is a Little Pearl

The 2014 Wisconsin Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Conference led to the typical dissemination and confluence -or occasional clash- of ideas that makes a conference of this nature so infectious.  Although, it has been argued that there are too many such conferences in the Midwest, the goal is to leave having learned something new, providing material for future experimentation and execution in the … [Read more...]

New Red Hybrids Coming From Ed Swanson

Grape breeder Ed Swanson has been working 15 years to develop hybrid wine grapes with tannic structures that appeal to the American palate.  Now Swanson is planning to release a ground breaking new red wine grape as early as next year.  This new cold hardy grape, which does not yet have a name,  has tannins "on par with Merlot, but with more on the berry side," according to Swanson.  As … [Read more...]