Wine goes Hybrid...Any 'Traminette' in Your Cellar?

Even though Al Gore just got the Nobel Prize, he is not the one who invented Traminette.

Bruce Reisch of the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (Cornell University)in Geneva (New York) is the man behind it. Jim Clarke looks at why Winemakers look to hardy hybrids for solutions to environmental challenges (SF Chronicle, October 12).

There are 3 main reasons behind the growing interest in coming up with new grape varieties.

The first two are linked.
Number one motivation is reducing the impact of diseases such as Phylloxera on the vineyards.
Number two is reducing if not eliminating the use of chemicals to treat the vines.
This is driven by a need to reduce the environmental impact of all the spraying.

The third thing in favor of hybrids is the ability to come up with grapes that can grow within a shorter cycle and in harsher climates.

The technical feast must be balanced with the need to come up with varietals and wines that taste great.

It might be where the real challenge is.

Traminette (grapes pictured here, photo Cornell University) can be best described as a cousin of Gewurztraminer

TraminetteJim Clarke also mentions that "Eric Amberg, of Amberg Wine Cellars, is excited to have New York's first plantings of Marquette, a hybrid Red developed at the University of Minnesota and released to the public for the first time last year".

A review posted on Wine Geeks finds Marquette close to Shiraz while in Grape Expectations UMN News (a more official source) compares it to Pinot Noir.

I guess the best way to know is to taste it.

If anyone in Minnesota or New York State did, send me your notes.

On wine and green deeds: Grove Mill....A Carbon Neutral Winery...From New Zealand

Most recent Wine Piece (for Wine Blogging Wednesday #38): Dao not Douro, Portuguese Table Wines

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