Cold hardy grapes feed local wine industry

Uploaded by UniversityofMinn on 11.10.2010

We are at the University
of Minnesota Horticulture research center,
at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and this is
where we conduct our grape breeding.
We are primarily focused on wine grapes and making wine
in Minnesota is a relatively new venture.
We have been at that since 1978
and have introduced four varieties so far: the Frontenac,
Frontenac Gris, La Crescent and Marquette.
And these varieties really form the backbone
for the local wine industry in our state and also
in the surrounding region.
A study was done in 2007, which is the latest study
that we actually have, which showed that there are probably
about 1,200 acres of grapes now in the state
and the contribution to the economy was
about 36 million dollars back in 2007.
So that is kind the scale we're on right now.
Usually I would say in the last several years we have been
adding about 3 to 5 new wineries per year.
Our varieties of cold hardy grapes are grown really all
across the northern tier of the United States
from the Midwest tier across to New England.
There are wineries from Maine, New Hampshire,
Vermont down through Connecticut, Massachusetts
through parts of New York and Pennsylvania Michigan,
Wisconsin all that grow and rely on the varieties of grapes
that we have developed here at the University of Minnesota.
Woodland Hill Winery is family-owned
and we take extreme pride in our wine and our experience.
We grow two different varieties of Cold Hardy grapes.
We grow the newest variety called Marquette
and that we make our Vinny's red from, which we named
after our dog, and then we have La Crescent,
which is our largest planting that we have in our vineyard.
You can always look at a U of M cluster and kind
of know it is a U of M grape by this trailer
that comes off the side.
Very pretty.
They all have that little second; more so pronounced
than other grapes that we grow.
When we didn't have all the U of M varieties and stuff
to work with, the wines were maybe not quite as exceptional
as they are now and so we as an industry in Minnesota have had
to kind of battle our way out of that.
And you know on a daily basis people are like wow,
ya know, this is really good.
Myself and others have won awards, you know,
not only locally but throughout the nation, so I mean it is not
like we're a we're just an anomaly or anything we're kind
of here to stay I think.