July 20, 2017

Les Bourgeois Norton Goes to Hollywood

Norton wine has debuted on the silver screen. For a few minutes, a bottle of Les Bourgeois Vineyards Norton, takes center-stage in the 2014 mystery-thriller movie, Gone Girl, that stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.From the iconic James Bond martini to Pinot Noir in the comedy Sideways, the Missouri dry red continues a tradition involving films and beverages. Some industry observers hope this … [Read more...]

B2B: Stone Hill Triumphs at Norton Blind Tasting

For nearly three years, a small collection of Norton wines has been aging in the basement downstairs. The diminutive gathering of five bottles, all from Missouri wineries and most from the 2009 vintage, is the first wine I’ve ever stored for more than a few weeks. The fact that they’ve survived for this long is testimony to an ongoing curiosity about this grape, which many others share.See … [Read more...]

Dr. Norton Had a Baby and Named It Crimson Cabernet

Who says that French royalty cannot breed with ordinary native Americans? Crimson Cabernet’s parentage combines the Bordeaux King of Grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon, and the State Grape of Missouri, Norton. The result is a disease resistant, cold hardy hybrid grape with genes that trace back to 18th century Chateau Mouton.At the Kansas wine conference in Topeka in January, Midwestern winemaker … [Read more...]

Middle Creek Winery – Over the Rainbow in Kansas

At Middle Creek Winery in Louisburg, Kansas, the trees are bending to blustery, autumnal winds. As if to emphasize the drama of a visit from Midwest Wine Press, a tree snaps and crashes to the ground, falling just yards behind winery co-owner Kristin Graue. It doesn’t affect her welcoming smile but husband and co-proprietor, Stephen, looks a little concerned as he watches from the porch of their … [Read more...]

Norton: The Dark Knight Part II

This is the second article of a two-part profile on the Norton grape. This article discusses Norton winemaking techniques, research into its genetic origins and the history of the variety. The first Norton article in Midwest Wine Press focused on characteristics of today's Norton and included a report on the 2012 harvest. “…this dark orphan created a stir wherever it took root." Paul Roberts, … [Read more...]

Norton Grape Harvest & Crush at Jowler Creek

Norton is one of the last grapes to be harvested in the Midwest. Below are pictures from today's Norton grape harvest and crush at Jowler Creek Vineyard, near Platte City in Missouri. Winemaker Jason Gerke said it was a lighter yield than last year - but the fruit looked very good. Up close, the Norton grapes appeared very similar to blueberries and tasted very nice, but full of pips. The hard … [Read more...]

Norton: Dark Knight of American Wine

This is the first article of a two part profile on the Norton grape. The first article discusses the characteristics of today's Norton and includes a report on the 2012 Norton Harvest. The next article will focus on Norton winemaking techniques and research into the origins of the grape.Norton, the oldest commercially grown native American grape, is a red variety with a unique flavor, a … [Read more...]

Grape Breeder’s Hypothesis Could Reveal Norton Grape Origins

A Virginia grape breeder has conducted experiments and historical research that could lead to the unveiling of the genetic origin of one of America’s most renowned and mysterious native grapes: Norton. The UK-based Journal of Wine Research is publishing a paper by Dr. Cliff Ambers, owner of Chateau Z Vineyard in Amherst County, that will reveal the full details of his six year investigation: A … [Read more...]