Monday, January 4, 2016

St. Croix Rose for 2015

The St. Croix grape is a hybrid developed in the USA and produces a dark blue grape with winged clusters about 100-125 grams and 2 clusters per shoot.  It ripens about the same time as Marechal Foch but the beauty of this grape is that it shows varietal flvours early and even makes nice red or rose wine when under-ripe. Its also hardy to about -35 celcius and has outstanding disease resistance and good production. This makes it a nice grape for shorter season areas and for organic growers.  It is one of the most widely grown red varieties in the USA north central states as well as the Quebec wine industry.

This year the grapes did ok.  St. Croix doesn't like our sandy soil so much and generally prefers rich soils. However we had moderate production and ripened the Arrow lakes Vineyard grapes to 18 brix in the vineyard (19 brix after crush) with ph of 2.9.  This is not ideal given the strong heat year we had but the test vines are young still.  Yet, at these parameters the grape makes a really good rose' and that is what we went with.  Typical crush and press and fermentation with 71B yeast.  Back sweetened with sugar to 14g/l and this is a beautiful rose'.  Pear and melon aromas dominate.  Again fresh pear comes through in flavours with pineapple and strawberry hints - I really like this grape and the wine "rose'" it makes... simple goodness.