Discovering New Grape Varieties in the Finger Lakes

I thought of this post today after following the Heritage grape webinar with Carlo Devito and the New York Wine Grape Foundation. Pete Bell of Fox Run spoke about Traminette which I remembered fondly from that trip to the Finger Lakes. So much to learn about and to try. I heard of a new grape today too, Vincent. Apparently it started as a table grape and some home winemakers decided to vinify it into wine. All of the grapes we talked about today were hybrids and had some common lines – cold and disease resistant and high acidity. Cheers to New York!

Niagara

Today I was lucky enough to visit five wineries on Cayuga lake, one of the Finger Lakes in upstate New York. I’ve always shied away from tasting hybrid grapes and those made with the Vitis Labrusca vines but today I decided to throw those preconceived notions out the window and just taste what is grown locally. I found a number of wines that interested me among the many that we tasted.

The wine above was from Knapp. The winery has been active for 35 years. Apparently they are home to some of the oldest red varieties grown on the Cayuga Wine Trail.

I tried their Vignoles and their Niagara. The Niagara was very grapey and would be nice with a fruit dessert. According to the Speciality Produce website, “Niagara grapes, botanically classified as Vitis labrusca ‘Niagara,’ are an American heirloom variety that grows on woody, tendril-climbing vines that…

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