We began in 2006 with the licensing of the winery. I had previously planted about 30 vines of a variety of grape species known to be hardy in our area. Some turned out to be more or less so. The goal was to raise grapes hardy to our area and as resistant to the local pathogens as possible. This would allow growing grapes with the least amount of spraying. The French-American hybrids were chosen as they offer disease resistance and can produce good quality wines. The North American native grapes are phylloxera resistant but can have flavor qualities that are not good in wine. The fox grape or Vitis labrusca, which is Concord and all it’s cousins has a foxy character that makes it unsuitable for fine wine. Phylloxera is a mite that is native to North America and is deadly to the French grapes, Vitis vinifera. Hybridization of the two is a happy medium to solve both flavor problems and give resistance to phylloxera. One exception to this is an American species known a Norton/Cynthiana or Vitis aestivalis. This grape has good wine making flavors and is practically immune to most grape pathogens and insects. We raise a small number of this variety but we are probably on the Northern most border of it’s range to achieve adequate maturity at harvest.
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