Grape Varieties

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White Varieties

Edelweiss – Disease resistant and winter hardy, this variety produces large, loose clusters of pale gold berries. Must be harvested early to avoid off aromas. Makes excellent sweet white wines.

La Crescent – A new variety form the University of Minnesota, this variety makes excellent crisp and aromatic wines. Slightly loose clusters turn golden brown when ripe and may develop slightly Muscat aromas.

La Crosse – Mid to late season ripening with sugar levels just over 20 Brix. Moderate acidity and widely grown in Nebraska.

Niagara – Variety traditionally used to make white grape juice. Grapes are large and juicy, pale greenish with a sweet, pleasant aroma. Often used to make sweet white wines.

Seyval Blanc – Leading white variety with large berries and clusters. Can be very productive although cluster thinning may be necessary to ensure complete ripening. Wines have good body and straw-yellow color.

St. Pepin – Aromatic variety with loose clusters and medium sized berries. Can be used to make excellent desert style wines.

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Red Varieties

Chancellor РOnce widely planted in France, this variety has found a new home in the Eastern and Midwestern US. Used to make excellent dry red wines, this variety’s main downfall is its disease susceptibility which makes it notoriously difficult to grow.

Concord – A very cold hardy native American variety. Long used to make juice and jelly, this variety has an easily and widely recognized aroma and taste. Used in the wine industry to make sweet and easy drinking wines.

Marechal Foch – Widely grown in Minnesota and Wisconsin, this variety produces small berries in slightly loose clusters. Wines have deep purple color and can be made in a variety of styles. Genetically similar to Leon Millot, although later ripening.

Frontenac – Extremely cold hardy and highly productive of moderately loose, medium to large clusters of medium sized berries. High sugar levels can be reached, although acid levels remain high until late in the growing season. Frontenac wines have characteristic cherry or jammy aromas.

GR7– Relatively new variety with large berries, high yields, and good disease resistance. Often used as a blending component in dry red Midwestern wines.

Marquette– Promising new variety with high levels of cold hardiness and disease resistance with excellent wine quality. Ripens early mid-season with medium sized clusters and high sugar levels.

Noiret– Released in 2006 from Cornell University, this new variety has been shown to produce excellent dry red wines with pepper aromas and good tannin structure. Ripens midseason and achieves good sugar levels.

Norton– Also known as Cynthiana, this variety is popular in Missouri as well as the Eastern US. It has long been used to make dry red wines of exceptional quality. Late ripening, this variety can only be grown in the southern part of Iowa.

St. Croix– Ripens midseason with slightly loose clusters. Struggles to reach high sugar levels, although juice is darkly colored. Widely grown in cold climate regions.