The Northern Grapevine

It Starts with The Grape

Most of what you read about hybrid grapes is site specific. Our site is sloped with a southerly aspect and the soils are mostly well drained, rocky, and loamy. We usually have a breeze that helps keep the vines dry and healthy. In Summer we work hard to manage the canopy to maximize fruit quality. We believe you need to start with great grapes to make great wine.

Here are some photos of our grapes and general information about each. Cheers!

Marquette is our signature 'go-to' red grape.

marquette wine grapes Easton, NY

Commercially Released: 2006, University of Minnesota.

Cold Hardiness: Very hardy - rated -20° to -30°F, or colder. New growth can be vulnerable to late spring frost.

Disease Resistance: Generally excellent, susceptible to black rot, anthracnose and powdery mildew, all of which are easily controlled.

Trellis System: Top Wire Cordon in rows spaced 10-foot apart.

The Grape: Exceptional, dark blue-black berry, tight clusters with one shoulder.

At Harvest: High sugar, moderate acidity.

The Wine: First vintage was 2012 Turning Point, a hit with our customers, makes a great dry red wine - we call our it our NYS bold red! Now, we make four styles of marquette wine, all complex, dark ruby color, good tannins, cherry, black fruit, pepper and spice flavor notes.

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Melody is our survivor grape.

Melody grape in October

Commercially Released: Cornell University in 1985

Cold Hardiness: Rated to -15°F, though our vines planted in 2008 survived winter temperatures to -18°F. We only have one row of this grape, but we are thinking of planting more.

Disease Resistance: Very susceptible to downy mildew, but responds well to careful control program.

Trellis System: Top Wire Cordon, rows spaced 10-foot apart.

The Grape: Amber, large-sized berry, thick skins.

At Harvest: Late starter and finisher, high sugar content. Unreliable crop weights, but a survivor. Very tough tendrils – sharpen your pruning clippers!

The Wine: We hope to make an ice wine with it some day, but we can also use it to top off barrels of our lacrosse, if needed.

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La Crescent is our main white grape.

La Crescent grapes at Victory View Vineyard

Commercially Released: 2002, University of Minnesota.

Cold Hardiness: Very hardy - rated -20° to -35°F.

Disease Resistance: Susceptible to downy mildew, responds well to careful control program.

Trellis System: Top Wire Cordon, rows 10-ft apart.

The Grape: Amber color, medium to small berry, long and loose clusters.

At Harvest: We call it 'our grape gone wild'- prolific vegetative growth which requires lots of canopy work and can shell easily when fully ripe at harvest time.

The Wine: Unique white - flavors somewhere between a reisling and a gewürztraminer. Our first vintage was 2012 Charlotte. We now make two German styles - unoaked dry Charlotte and semi-sweet Abigail. Unoaked, this wine has an intense nose of apricot, peach, and citrus with floral notes; the fruit lingers on the finish.

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Maréchal Foch

Marechal Foch grapes at Victory View Vineyard

Commercially Released: 1920 in France, to USA in 1951

Cold Hardiness: Rated -15°F to -25°F

Disease Resistance: Excellent on our site, requires control for black rot.

Trellis System: Top Wire Cordon, rows 10-ft apart.

The Grape: Dark blue-black berry, tight clusters, orderly vine growth, a 'stand-out' in our vineyard.

At Harvest: Beautiful small clusters, ripens to perfection in our vineyard.

The Wine: Dry, medium body red - our first vintage was 2012 Lafayette. Our 2014 Lafayette maréchal foch won a double gold medal at the 2016 Finger Lakes International wine competition - one of only two New York reds to receive a double gold. Yippee! Boo-hoo - only planted three rows, so limited production.

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LaCrosse needs the most attention.

LaCrosse grapes at Victory View Vineyard

Commercially Released: 1983, Wisconsin, bred by Elmer Swenson.

Cold Hardiness: Rated -15° to -20°F.

Disease Resistance: Good, but can be very susceptible to botrytis in wet years, requiring a careful control program and diligent canopy management.

Trellis System: Top Wire Cordon, rows 10-ft apart.

The Grape: Medium, amber-yellow berry, tender, juicy and thin-skinned.

At Harvest: usually produces well ripened fruit here, about 4 tons per acre in our vineyard.

The Wine: Lightly-oaked and pleasantly dry, consistent winner. Our first vintage was 2012 Fieldstone.

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Frontenac is our third red grape, planted in 2013.

frontenac wine grape

Commercially Released: 1996, Minnesota.

Cold Hardiness: Very hardy, rated below -20°F to -35°F, the first two growing seasons these vines survived two very cold, long winters.

Disease Resistance: Excellent.

Trellis System: Geneva Double Curtain (GDC), rows 12-ft apart

The Grape: blue-black colored grape, medium-sized loose clusters. Planted in more shale at driest location in the vineyard at the top of the hill.

At Harvest: Third growing season and first harvest yielded almost 4 tons per acre.

The Wine: Tastes like a winner to us! 2015 is our first vintage, so we hope for a late 2016 release...stay tuned.

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