Thursday, August 14, 2008

Grape Hybrids in the Hudson Valley

I thought I'd educate you today on some of the grape hybrids that grow well in the Hudson Valley. Just because these aren't Cabernet Sauvignon or Chardonnay, don't be afraid to taste what's in the bottle. You will be presently surprised at what you find.

Seyval Blanc – French American hybrid grape. Heavy producing white. Most widely planted white grape in the Hudson Valley that produces good sugar and acid balance. Usually blended with other varieties. I find that this grape alone, stainless steal fermented taste similar to a Sauvignon Blanc.

Gamay Noir – Medium bodied red wine that is a clone of Pinot Noir. French vinifera grape dating
back to the 15th century. Produces a wine with elements of cherries and cranberries. Sometimes
made into an early season Nouveau.

Vignoles – A complex hybrid wine grape variety produced from a cross made by J.F. Ravat of two grapes, Seibel 8665 and Pinot de corton. White wine from these grapes can be made into a dry wine or late harvest wine. Floral aromas and fruity flavors of pineapple and apricot.

Traminette - Traminette' is a late mid-season white wine grape (Fig. 1) which produces wine with pronounced varietal character likened to one of its parents, 'Gewürztraminer'. 'Traminette' is distinguished by its superior wine quality combined with good productivity, partial resistance to several fungal diseases, and cold hardiness superior to its acclaimed parent, 'Gewürztraminer'. Traminette' resulted from the cross, Joannes Seyve 23.416 x 'Gewürztraminer'.


My opinion locally, Clinton Vineyards has a very good Seyval they just released, as does Adair Vineyards. Whitecliff has their Awosting White which is a blend of Seyval and Vignoles that is very tasty.

In addition, Whitecliff Vineyards has a fantastic Gamay Noir! Serve this slightly chilled and it is fantastic! Better get this before there is no more left.

Benmarl Winery and Whitecliff both have released very good Traminettes. I like Benmarl's slightly better than Whitecliffs. If you are out wine tasting in the Valley, compare the two and let me know what you think.

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