Looking for suggestions - grape vines for Connecticut (6A)

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May 31, 2010
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Hi, I'm looking for specific suggestions for grape vines to grow in Connecticut, zone 6A. Ideally looking to grow a few different types while I hone in on my skills using kits these next few years. I have looked into local vineyards and what they are growing (some are more open about that information than others) and one vineyard is making a Merlot in zone 5B, where double-A vineyards doesn't identify it for any zone less than 7. I am not opposed to hybrid grapes either. One of my favorite local wines uses Cayuga White, so I will definitely be planting those. Ideally looking for suggestions for Reds and whites hardy to zone 6. Google seems to be uncharacteristically poor for this search.... either I'm getting a huge list without any info to supplement or recommend one over another, or I get an unhelpful blog-styled page.

Sorry if this question has been asked numerous times before.


I know Cayuga is one of the grapes Ct. is very good at growing and Im betting you probably frequent McClauflin in Sandy Hook for that wine. Vidal and Cayuga are listed as the easier ones to grow and least prone to disease here. Seyval, Cab Franc, Foch, Chambourcin , Riesling, and Chardonnay are also listed but on the bottom of the list as being more problematic.
The Rhode Island Cooperative Extension has some info on grape growing here. Looked on Connecticut's website but there isn't much. You might also look at Cornell Cooperative Extension's website here. They have a lot of info owing to the New York State Wine Country.
Huh, none of what came up when I typed in Ct. wine grapes. Id take Riches word over the website I replied from!
Hi, thanks for all the suggestions. There's certainly a lot of options out there. My fiance is a big fan of Cabernet Sauvignon, but I'm thinking it probably will not handle the winters here in Connecticut. Is there a wine with the tannic flavor of Cabernet that can handle the winters of CT?
Unfortunately there aren't any good choices for real tannic hybrids. I would suggest getting a hybrid that would grow well and thrive there and then add a bit of tannins or extra oak if you want to bump the tannins up. Corot Noir or Noiret should fit the bill for you there and give you nice fruit flavors (black cherry mainly) and some tannins with real good mouth feel. Maybe you could buy a pail of juice from Walkers Fruit Basket this fall and give it a try before ordering vines for next year.
Thanks for jumping in here Rich with this one hence the email on it cause Im not very familiar with any of these.
Would attempting to grow Cabernet Sauvignon be an exercise in futility?
Since you are in Zone 5-6, growing a Zone 7-8 variety would not result in the desired outcome. (translation- not a good idea).
Understood, but the link provided by Mud on the Cornell University website says this:

"Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the most cold hardy and disease resistant V. vinifera varieties. Although late ripening, satisfactory levels of sugar in most New York production areas are usually attained. However, sugar alone does not determine wine quality, and consistent superior wine quality has only been achieved in the warmer production areas."

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