Monthly Archives: June 2023

Quick Fall Harvest Update

We are working hard to prepare for the fall. The crop is looking to be of normal size. The heavy rainfall we’ve had out West has resulted in very nutrient-rich vines and exceptional skin quality. The California crop was on pace to be about 2 weeks behind this year, but some good weather has pushed that up a bit. Good news from the Lanza team, they have introduced a new box that will hold up better during transportation and the new design will allow for an increase in airflow!

The Washington State is also looking good. We expect it to harvest about 1-2 weeks earlier than last season. We have a new vineyard coming online from Washington. It is called Candy Mountain, one of Washington States’ newest AVA’s. The Candy Mountain vineyard is a south-facing slope that sits just southeast of the Red Mountain AVA. At nearly 900 acres, it’s also the smallest AVA in the state. With outstanding growing conditions, it is expected to produce rich fruit-forward grapes with nice minerality and tannins. We are excited to be bringing this new vineyard to market this season.

Unfortunately, as New Englanders are aware, New York and New England crops were hit with some frost this Spring. If you are interested in NY State juices, please contact Christina as soon as possible. There is little supply due to the frost damage.

We will have more updates coming soon regarding the fall.

Variety focus: Marquette

Marquette grape

What you need to know about Marquette

  • French-American hybrid grape first developed at University of Minnesota in 2006.
  • Cold hardy and grows well in the Midwest and the Northeast because of this.
  • Capable of producing multiple styles, though known for lighter bodied styles.
  • Low tannin, high acid.
  • Benefits from oak aging.

Tasting profile

  • Cherry, cranberry, black olive, grapefruit, chocolate, caramel, black currant, spice.

Growing Marquette

  • VSP is not recommended. It is a highly vigorous vine, which can of course be exacerbated by soil and climactic conditions.
  • Top wire cordon training system is recommended to accommodate this.

What yeast to use for Marquette

  • D254 is a common yeast used.

Fermenting and aging tips

  • As a hybrid variety, it tends to have difficulty holding onto the little tannin it has. Take this into account through employing sacrificial tannins during fermentation, and aging on oak.
  • High acidity means you may need to deacidify with potassium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate.

Variety focus: La Crescent

La Crescent grape

What you need to know about La Crescent

  • Created at the University of Minnesota in 2002.
  • Excellent cold hardiness, and usually harvested mid-season.

Tasting profile

  • Apricot, pineapple, citrus, tropical, floral

Growing La Crescent

  • Its leaves are very susceptible to downy mildew, though the fruit is quite resistant.
  • It is a very vigorous vine.

What yeast to use for La Crescent

  • Lalvin C, SVG, 71B, which can all help to lower TA, as may be needed.

Fermenting and aging tips

  • Can make a variety of wine styles easily.
  • Significant malic acid in this variety – be aware of this.

Variety focus: Vidal Blanc

Vidal Blanc grape

What you need to know about Vidal Blanc

  • French-American hybrid created from a cross of Ugni Blanc (vinifera) and Rayon d’Or (hybrid).
  • Commonly used to make ice wine, but also makes a great still or sparkling wine. Known for its stylistic versatility.
  • Originally created with the intention of being used for cognac production.

Tasting profile

  • Tropical, pear, citrus, candied fruit, melon, mango, lychee, honeysuckle.

Growing Vidal

  • Thick skinned and cold hardy, which makes this variety ideal for the ice wine it is renowned for because it can stay on the vine long enough to freeze without becoming overripe or falling off the vine.
  • Highly susceptible to powdery mildew and anthracnose, botrytis, and mildly susceptible to downy mildew.

Late harvest Vidal Blanc still awaiting harvestime

What yeast to use for Vidal

  • Alchemy, BA11, DV10, M2, Vin13

Fermenting and aging tips

  • Generally higher acidity; deacidification may be needed pre-fermentation.
  • May have difficulty getting through MLF if pH is too low.