Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Grape varieties for 2010

We have decided to add some new varieties for 2010 and drop the Perle of Csaba. The Perle, while early, apparently is very prone to disease. Disease resistance is a primary consideration for the vines we want to plant so with that in mind we've decided not to plant it. As it stands we have Ortega and will be planting Seigerrebe in 2010. Both are early and both have disease pressures - we don't need another one. However, I did read on the BC government agriculture site that Ortega apparently has some disease resistance to rot and powdery ---- we'll see.

In 2010, with the Seigerrebe we are going to plant Acadie Blanc, DeChaunac, Lucy Kuhlman, Marechal Joffre, and Seyval Blanc, Zweigelt, and Castel.

The Acadie Blanc is a Nova Scotia wine staple that produces an excellent white wine that can be made into a few different styles similar to chardonnay, chablis or a sparkling wine. It is early and disease resistant. I've had this one from several vineyards in Nova Scotia and all have been good to very good.

The Dechaunac and Zweigelt is mid-season and would likely test the limits of our ability to ripen these varieties not by way of heat but in frost free days. The Dechaunac has some disease resistance and can produce excellent red wines not dissimilar to Pinot Noir with good aging potential. House of Rose Vineyard in BC makes an excellent Dechaunac. We enjoyed a 1999 vintage of Dechaunac this year (10 years old) from the House of Rose and it was at the end of it's optimum shelf life but still excellent. Zweigelt to me is like a Gamay and by some accounts also has marginal disease resistance. Arrow Leaf Vineyard in BC makes a nice Zweigelt. Both varieties are heavy producers.

The Seyval Blanc is also mid-season and produces an excellent white wine that can be made into a few different styles. Jost Vineyard in Nova Scotia does this one better than anyone else I've tried.

Lucy Kuhlman and Marechal Joffre are sibling vines to Marechal Foch and Leon Millot. All four were created from the same cross by Eugene Kuhlman of France. The LK and MJ both are said to be earlier ripening than the Foch or Millot and have excellent disease resistance and cold hardiness. Sounds good so far. I've tried two vintages of Lucy Kuhlman from different Nova Scotia vineyards and both had a slight herbaceous flavour but nice fruit and high brix/alcohol. I've not seen anyone who makes a Joffre varietal wine and few that grow it, seems to be used more as a blender. However, some literature (Northern Wine Works) points to Joffre as having similar flavour qualities to Foch, but a little less fruit flavour and also less acid at harvest - well see. (see the September 9th, 2009 post Grapes in Edmonton for more on Joffre)

Castel 19637 is early ripening, cold hardy and disease resistant. It makes an excellent mid weight red wine. Wine quality from this variety in Nova Scotia is excellent. Some grow it in BC on Vancouver Island for a varietal - Cherry Point Vineyard, but others use it more for a blender. Link to full blog