Wines from Hybrid Grapes Used to Be the Height of Bad Taste. No Longer!

U of M-developed cold-hardy wine grapes were featured in a Bloomberg article on wines that are growing in popularity.

But recently I tasted a lusciously rich, fruit-packed, amarone-style red made from frontenac grapes grown in Vermont, and a subtle, savory, zingy white from Quebec made from La Crescent. Both grapes were developed at the University of Minnesota to withstand super-cold winters yet make wines with great flavor.

“Serious interest in wines from hybrids is quite a recent phenomenon,” says master sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier, managing partner for New York bistro Racines, who has several on her list. “Thanks to a new generation of hybrids and new producers growing for quality, not quantity, tastes are changing.”

Hybrid grapes, according to Matt Clark, an assistant professor in the department of horticultural science at the University of Minnesota, are crosses between the European vine, vitis vinifera, and various native wild American species such as vitis labrusca.

Read the full story in Bloomberg.