Best Red Hybrid Grape For Wine

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montanarick

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Hi Everyone,

This will be my sixth year growing hybrid grapes. I currently have Frontenac Blank and Gris for whites which I'm very fond of. I also grow Marquette, Frontenac and Petite Pearl. I like Marquette but not so much the other two reds. I find Frontenac tough to deal with because of it's high acidity even after MLF and Cold Stabilization - so for me it's use is limited. Petite Pearl's yield is small and the wine is just so-so.

That much said, I'm looking for another red hybrid that is cold hardy (Zone 5b) has limited acidity with some tannin, can consistently provide a decent yield per vine and makes a decent red wine. GGD's are not an issue as I'm between 2400 and 2700 and summers here are quite dry so the normal fungus and mildew considerations are not an issue.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated - thanks
 

Rice_Guy

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* Verona and Crimson pearl have good write ups. No first hand experience though. I am agreeing with your thoughts on older varieties and would toss in Millot as good.
* I have been putting In a few Itasca white. Like the numbers and grapes/vines in the club looked good. Haven’t picked mine yet.
 

BigH

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Verona is the other Plocher variety to consider. You might get enough summer heat to get it ripe. If I were in your shoes, my choice would come down to Verona or Crimson Pearl, depending on microclimate.

I don't grow Crimson Pearl, but it is a sibling of Petite Pearl, with lighter color and similar tannins to Petite Pearl. If you don't like the wine you are getting from PP, you might also be disappointed in CP.

As for your PP yields, I have been pleasantly surprised with it. 16, 13, and 21 lbs per vine over the last 3 years. The 21 was last year (very wet growing season).

H
 

montanarick

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Thanks everyone for your feedback. Verona and Crimson Pearl could be possibilities but I'm not finding too much info on the wines because they haven't been out in the public very long.
 

jgmillr1

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I'm growing both Foch and Millot. The Foch is still getting established but I've bought Foch grapes for years. I've gotten 4 harvests out of the Millot so far.

These varietals are sisters and have similar but complimentary characteristics. Clusters tend to be smallish (0.2lb) and the vines can be vigorous. Both seem to be prone to late season PM.

The wine from each is good. I strongly suggest you don't skin ferment the Foch for longer than 3 days top. Longer skin contact gives an earthy, herbaceous tone to the wine. Two days on skins makes for a moderately dark, rich wine with pepper notes when fermented with RC212. Millot makes dark, jammy wine with blackberry flavors. I do 4 days on skins for the Millot. The two grapes are often blended together during harvest for more complexity but you can likewise ferment separately and blend later. Tannins are moderate for each.

Both Foch and Millot make solid wines.
 

montanarick

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I'm growing both Foch and Millot. The Foch is still getting established but I've bought Foch grapes for years. I've gotten 4 harvests out of the Millot so far.

These varietals are sisters and have similar but complimentary characteristics. Clusters tend to be smallish (0.2lb) and the vines can be vigorous. Both seem to be prone to late season PM.

The wine from each is good. I strongly suggest you don't skin ferment the Foch for longer than 3 days top. Longer skin contact gives an earthy, herbaceous tone to the wine. Two days on skins makes for a moderately dark, rich wine with pepper notes when fermented with RC212. Millot makes dark, jammy wine with blackberry flavors. I do 4 days on skins for the Millot. The two grapes are often blended together during harvest for more complexity but you can likewise ferment separately and blend later. Tannins are moderate for each.

Both Foch and Millot make solid wines.
Thank you for the information and sorry it has taken me this long to respond -since the patest upgrade to the forum site I have not been able to login and was only able to do so when opening the login dialog onto a new window - go figure
 

GreginND

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Yes, I can say something about Crimson Pearl. Several wineries around me are growing it now. Our climate is a bit dry here, so we haven't seen problems with black rot. But I have to say the vines grow well here. They don't suffer from early bud break like Marquette does, so frost risk is less. They seem to have a stronger growth habit than Petite Pearl and the clusters are bigger. The wine quality is excellent - my favorite of the hybrid reds. It is a very versatile grape that can be blended, made as an oaked dry red, made as an off-dry fruity red. Carlos Creek winery in Alexandria, MN made a French style dry rosé from it that was absolutely delicious. I'm looking to buy CP from any grower I can this year.
 

montanarick

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Yes, I can say something about Crimson Pearl. Several wineries around me are growing it now. Our climate is a bit dry here, so we haven't seen problems with black rot. But I have to say the vines grow well here. They don't suffer from early bud break like Marquette does, so frost risk is less. They seem to have a stronger growth habit than Petite Pearl and the clusters are bigger. The wine quality is excellent - my favorite of the hybrid reds. It is a very versatile grape that can be blended, made as an oaked dry red, made as an off-dry fruity red. Carlos Creek winery in Alexandria, MN made a French style dry rosé from it that was absolutely delicious. I'm looking to buy CP from any grower I can this year.
Thanks very much for taking the time to respond Greg - stay well
 

sour_grapes

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Carlos Creek winery in Alexandria, MN made a French style dry rosé from it that was absolutely delicious. I'm looking to buy CP from any grower I can this year.
Kind of a non-sequitur, but small world. In the thread I started on skills acquisition, I had posted about an engine swap I did. (Chevy LS1 into 3-Series BMW.) Well, I bought the BMW from a guy in, not Alexandria proper but, wait for it... Carlos MN! Right near Carlos Creek Winery. And it was nearly exactly 1 year ago (364 days!).
 
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