Grape Varieties Grown
While we grow many varieties of grapes, the major ones are listed
here with a description.
Very vigorous variety with good disease
resistance. Slightly upright in growth habit. Produces a
very fruity white wine with pineapple, apricot and peach in
the nose. This Swenson selection is grown from Nebraska to
New England, but in limited quantities at the moment.
Selected by Elmer Swenson.
This cross of Seyval and Chardonnay produces
an excellent wine when mature fruit is used. Good locations
with large growing seasons are required to ripen the fruit.
This variety is a bit tender for our location, but makes an
excellent wine so we have opted to continue growing this
one. Some years there may be some dieback and subsequent
decrease in yield, but we feel the flavor of the wine is
worth the risk.
White wine. Hardy to -36 F. Requires a
careful spray program to control black rot and downy mildew.
Moderate vigor. Sugar can develop to 22-27 brix with high
acid. Wine can be excellent in a semi sweet or dessert
style. Similar to a good Vignole or Riesling, with apricot,
citrus and honey in the nose and flavor. Ripens mid-season.
Selected by the University of Minnesota.
White wine. Hardy to -25 F. Vigor and
disease resistance are moderate. Sugar content of 19-21
brix. Good varietal wines have been made in a dry and
semi-dry style and are clean, fruity, with good acidity
similar to Seyval, one of its parents. Citrus, apple, pear
and melon have been noted in the nose. Also does well when
lightly oaked or barrel fermented. This is one of the
leading white wine varieties in some upper Mid-Western
states and does very well in the moderate sites of the
Northeast. Ripens late season. Selected by Elmer Swenson.
A white wine grape with muscat flavors and a nice floral nose.
Nice sized clusters, slow vigor with good winter hardiness. Bred by
White wine. A sister seedling of LaCrosse
but hardier, to around -26 F. This variety is pistallite,
meaning that it has only female flowers and must be planted
near other varieites to ensure proper fruit set. It should
be pruned to a high bud count to make sure there is adequate
fruit production. Small berries are formed on medium loose
clusters. Ripens mid season to about 20 brix and 1.0% total
acidity. Two rows of St. Pepin next to one row of another
variety like Frontenac gris, LaCrosse or others will do
well. Excellent wines have been made from St. Pepin as a
varietal and also in a blend. When well ripened, fruit
quality is similar to Reisling. Suitable for ice wine
production. Selected by Elmer Swenson.
Bears a full crop after-35 F. This is a very
vigorous vine with fair resistance to powdery mildew and is
immune to downy mildew. Arching in growth. Wine quality can
be very good, garnet in color with an intense cherry, plum,
and sometimes chocolate aroma. Ripens late in the season
with 25 brix or higher. Requires ample heat to reduce its
typically high acid. Frontenac has proven itself very
versatile in the winery. Besides medium bodied reds,
commercially produced roses, some blended with Frontenac
gris for more complexity, with some residual sugar to
balance the acid, have become very popular. It is also being
made into award winning Port wine. Most widely planted wine
grape in Minnesota. Selected by the University of Minnesota.
A sister seedling of Foch. Hardy to -15F to
-20F. Ripens earlier than Foch to good sugar/acid balance.
Very nice body in fully ripened fruit. Excellent wines have
been made in several different styles from light blends to
full bodied, dry reds. Blends well with higher acid
varieties. Selected by Kuhlman.
Petite Pearl (formerly TP 2-1-24) is a new
red wine variety bred by the esteemed Minnesota
viticulturist and author, Tom Plocher. While this variety
has only been planted in experimental quantities since it
was bred and evaluation began in 1996, it has shown
exceptional resistance to fungal diseases and bunch rots.
Vigor is moderate, with an open, trailing growth habit.
Fruit ripens mid to late season to around 24 brix and less
than 1%TA. It has consistently produced a crop in the St.
Paul area after -32F.
Early wines are very complex, with lots of spice, jammy
fruit and nice, round tannins in the middle mouth and
finish. This may be an excellent blending component to add
complexity and softness to most northern reds.
Hardy to -32 F or better. Good resistance to
powdery mildew and black rot. Susceptible to downy mildew. A
very reliable grape in the Northeast and Mid-West. Many
excellent wines have been made from St. Croix.
Vinifera-like, with good fruit and low tannin. Wine
characteristics include a strong berry nose with lesser
notes of cedar, tobacco and spice. An excellent lower acid
and lower sugar blending agent for other high sugar
varieties, like Marquette and Frontenac. Achieves 18-20 brix
with moderate acidity. Ripens mid season. Also makes a
suitable seeded table grape. Selected by Elmer Swenson.
More winter hardy than most seedless grapes.
Produces medium clusters with small, sweet, red berries
similar to those of Delaware.
Vigorous, white seedless grape from the
Geneva Breeding Program. Named in 1996 this high flavor
grape produces 3-5 gram spherical berries on large
shouldered clusters. Excellent table grape, also produces
pleasant and delicate white wine. *Patented cultivar from
the Cornell Breeding Program
A vigorous, blue seedless grape. Clusters
are medium sized and well filled. Hardiness has been good at
Geneva, New York, and the vines are resistant to several
major diseases. Vines may bear fruit precociously, and
production should be controlled on young vines to prevent
delays in establishment.
Produces large clusters of round, red,
medium-sized berries. The skins are tender and the flesh is
melting in texture, with a sweet flavor. Coloring may be
poor in some years, but cold hardiness is among the highest
of the seedless varieties. University of Arkansas
Ontario/Suffolk Red cross.