Cullari Vineyard & Winery

1251 E Chocolate Ave
Hershey, PA 17033


Open: Year Round

About Us:

A Word About the Grapes We Use in our Wines

In a very simple manner, grapes can be divided into three general categories (it's much more complicated, but I'm Italian, not a biologist). These three categories are Native-American (these were here, at least in the wild versions before the Columbus lead European invasion), French-American hybrids (or just hybrids) and vinifera. In reality, these categories can further sub-divided, but I want to make it simple. We actually use all three types of grapes in our wines, and I would like to say a few words about these.

Chardonnay is in the vinifera category. We grow this in our vineyard in Hershey, and it does very well. Depending on the data source you are using, it is the largest varietal grape planted in California, but it is not the most popular grape in the world. This distinction belongs to a vinifera grape called Airen, which most of you have probably never heard on as it is planted mostly in Spain. Our Chardonnay wine is not oaked like many of the California versions, and I like it better this way.

Vidal Blanc is an example of a hybrid grape. It was developed by a Frenchman by the name of (surprise) Jean Louis Vidal! Vidal was trying to produce a grape that might be used for the production of Cognac in France. The grape parents of Vidal are Trebbiano and Seibel 4986 (both white grapes). Trebbiano is the second mostly widely planted grape in the world. In Italy, Trebbiano is the most commonly grown white grape, and sometimes used along Sangiovese to make Chianti. However, it is more commonly used to make Cognac in France. Seibel 4986 is one of the many (many) hybrid grapes developed by another Frenchman by the name of Albert Seibel. Interestingly, many of the European nations have outlawed the use of hybrids in their wines. Their loss is our gain! Vidal is often used to make Ice Wines in the Northeast USA, and Canada. I love this grape! We grow it here in Hershey and I wish I had more of it. It is a great alternative to Chardonnay.

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