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Wine, Because Science Said So

Wine Grapes Successfully Grown in Central Oregon 

Cold-hardy grapes can survive Central Oregon's winters. Hybrid grapes are grape varieties that are the product of a crossing of two or more Vitis species. 

They have disease resistant, have shorter growing seasons, and require less water.

White Varietes

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Brianna 

  • New, white grape variety

  • Bred in 1983 by Elmer Swenson in Wisconsin

  • Hybrid variety, related to Muscat

  • First used as a table grape

  • Vines’ vigor and hardiness led it to be used for wine production

  • Brianna wines can be dry or sweet in style

  • Exhibits flavors ranging from grapefruit to tropical yellow fruits such as pineapple

  • Mostly used in blends 

Frontenac Gris 

  • A pink-berried mutation of Frontenac, the cold-hardy hybrid variety bred at the University of Minnesota's horticultural research center and commercially released in 2003.

  • Yields gray fruit – gris is French for gray and amber-colored juice

  • Produces high yields and conical, loose clusters of medium size.

  • Wine has subtle peach-pink color with aromas of citrus and tropical fruits, produces sweet and dry wine styles 

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La Crescent

  • A light-skinned hybrid variety was developed by the University of Minnesota and released in 2002. 

  • It has a complex ancestry, including Vitis vinifera, riparia, rupestris, labrusca and aestivalis. Saint-Pepin and a Muscat Hamburg crossing feature among its progenitors.

  • The fruit has high acidity and can be used to make off-dry to sweet/dessert and late-harvest wines.

  • Aromas are apricot, peach and citrus. 

La Crosse

  • A light-skinned hybrid grape variety bred in Wisconsin, La Crosse has a complex crossing that counts Vitis vinifera and Vitis labrusca in its ancestry, and has Seyval Blanc as a parent and Saint-Pepin as a sibling. La Crosse is used in both blends and varietal wines, contributing its flavors of pear and apricot, as well as a pleasant, Muscat-like aroma. The variety is susceptible to rot, however, necessitating some caution in the vineyard during the growing season. La Crosse was first bred by Elmer Swenson in the early 1970s and was released for commercial use in 1983. It is named after a city on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wisconsin. 

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Red Varietes

Frontenac

  • A dark-skinned, hybrid French-American grape variety, the result of a crossing made in 1978 between Landot Noir, and a native Vitis Riparia vine.

  • The crossing was made in 1978 and released as Frontenac in 1996.

  • Despite the variety's blue-black skin color, it has low tannin.

  • Frontenac may be made in dry, sweet, or rosé styles and port. 

  • The juice usually has a deep garnet color, with cherry aromas. Secondary characteristics of blackcurrant, plum, and chocolate have also been identified.

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Leon Millot

  • A dark-skinned French-American hybrid grape 

  • The variety is the genetic twin of Marechal Foch, born in 1911 of Eugene Kuhlmann's crossing of Goldriesling with another North American hybrid.

  • High yields

  • It ripens early, making it suitable for regions where the growing season is limited.

  • . As a wine, Léon Millot is light to medium-bodied with very deep color, low tannins, and a range of berry aromas and subtle notes of white pepper.

Maréchal Foch 

  • Makes a deeply colored wine with earthy characters as well as some jammy, dark-fruit flavors.

  • The grape was bred in France in the 1910s by Eugene Kuhlmann, who crossed Goldriesling and a native American Vitis Riparia-rupestris. The variety arrived in the USA in 1946, where it was renamed "Maréchal Foch" in honor of Marshall Ferdinand Foch, a prominent French General of the First World War.

  • Maréchal Foch is classified as a teinturier, a kind of red grape variety where both the skin and flesh of the grape is a deep red color.

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Marquette

  • A blue/black-berried variety crossed in 1989 and was introduced in 2006 by the University of Minnesota. 

  • Marquette is the cousin of Frontenac, a well-known French-American hybrid, and the grandson of Pinot Noir.

  • The university developed Marquette to be cold-hardy as well as resistant or less susceptible to fungi such as powdery mildew and black rot that can plague vines. 

  • The outcome of Marquette’s crossings is a variety with high sugar levels and moderate acidity.

  • Grape bunches are small-to-medium-sized, with small-to-medium berries.

  • Marquette wines are typically medium-bodied, with aromas of cherries, blackcurrants, and blackberries. 

  • More complex aromas such as tobacco and leather may also be exhibited, with spicy pepper notes on the finish.