Posts Tagged“grape”

Lovely Louise Swenson

swenson

Elmer Swenson is a respected and nearly mythical figure in the cold climate wine growing community, but do we ever wonder what force was behind his success? He had his own motivations for breeding grapes which developed at an early age, and then later in life he greatly expanded the vine breeding work of prior generations. His ‘amateur’ vine propagation began in 1943 and continued when he was a dairy farmer and had full responsibility for the family operation. Upon retirement from dairy, Elmer went to work for the University of Minnesota as a fruit nurseryman and eventually, grape breeder. When he retired again, he continued…

Playing Some La Crosse

La Crosse with healthy flowers after a very cold winter.

La Crosse is a grape from the cold climate quiver that is a pet favorite of mine. Having worked with it in the Cornell trial vineyard and in and the home winery for a few vintages, I’m intrigued by what smells and tastes like potential. It’s yet another of the Elmer Swenson-propagated diaspora of hybrid vines which offer options and hope to winemakers who grow and press  in places that are USDA Zone 5 and below. A complex hybrid offspring of Seyval Blanc, and named for the Wisconsin city on the Mississippi,  it offers some improvements upon its parent, and…

Frontenac: Mutant Vintage

NYCR-Frontenac_Gris_Blanc_Close

It was very tempting to approach this subject indirectly through a wine science fiction sort of allegory. The tale of a race decimated by plague and forced to breed with other relative species in order to survive. The social stigmas faced by the viable offspring:  the challenges of relocation and settling of new lands,  the strange and divergent characteristics that began to appear in subsequent generations. It’snot far off, as a version of the inter-specific hybrid grapevine story, and of the unexpected mutants that currently exist among us, in the form of the cold climate grape called Frontenac. The Frontenac grape…

Vineyard Visuals: They’ll Look the Other Way…For Now

fawninthefieldpeconicbaywinery

Photo compliments of Matt Gillies, Peconic Bay Winery "This little fellow brought mowing a field near the vineyard to a stop today. His sister (or brother — I didn’t check) lay 20 feet away- just as still. Neither one moved an inch as I photographed them. Just a few days old and with no scent and no movement, they will be safe until their mother returns to nurse them later. All work has been stopped in that field until these little guys get up and about in the next week or so. They’ll eat our grapes later this year and…