The Grapes of Cold

Fri. Feb. 1, 2019

Click below to listen to my  2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  The Grapes of Cold

At least in MY lifetime, the thought of vineyards in the North matching anything in Napa was unthinkable!   But here we are and the Grapes of Cold exist and so do the wines!

Just to show you the proliferation of wineries, this tour has been set up through MN, WI and IA!  Here’s the description and link.  The Great River Road follows the Mississippi River from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. We think the bluff lands of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa are the most scenic: filled with millions of years of geologic history, centuries of human habitation, and now one of the world’s newest wine producing regions.The Great River Road Wine Trail

The University of Minnesota is recognized as one of the top wine grape research programs in the country, with the goal of developing high-quality, cold-hardy, and disease-resistant wine grape cultivars. The wine grape breeding program began in the mid-’70s, and in 2000 an enology lab and research winery opened at the Horticultural Research Center.  Today more than 12,000 experimental vines are cultivated on 12 acres.

Thousands of seedlings are produced each year using a diverse genetic base. Grapes such as ‘Frontenac’, ‘Marquette’ and ‘La Crescent’ are reported hardy to 30 below.  The cultivar ‘Itasca’, for white wine, is the latest introduction coming to market in 2017.  U of MN Growing Grapes Guide


The grape vines I planted at a former house have continued to produce well for over a decade.

Grapes ‘Edelweiss’ and ‘St. Croix’
12 lbs. of ‘St. Croix’ and ‘Edelweiss’ grapes