St. Pepin, Frontenac, Marechal Foch, and Vignoles may not be grape varieties commonly discussed in Wine Spectator but they may be someday.
These are the names of the grapes we grow in Northern IL.
These are the grapes that can withstand winter temperatures dipping down to -30F and further.
These are grapes that have been the building stones of our 12 year old winery.
Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and so on are varieties that would perish in our cold northern winters. American Hybrids have emerged the last couple decades due to the dedication by amateur and professional viticulturists to develop varieties of wine grapes for the Mid-West. Cheers to THEM!!!
Because of their years of trials, tests and labor, we are able to grow red and white wine grapes that rival other parts of the wine world.
I speak of St. Pepin specifically. Year after year, our estate-grown St. Pepin displays a whiff of citrus and cuts with a spray of green apple. Presented beside certain Viogniers, you may not be able to tell the difference. You might close your eyes and think you have been transported to another part of the world, but yet, you are close to home in the hills of Illinois.
As for the reds, we blend for our barrel aged wines. Frontenac is the prominent grape in our barrels and for our rich semi-dry wines.
We have often joked, “Wine snobs- Welcome!” Though not Cabernets, our reds provide structure and complexity with a uniqueness and versatility to make to make you proud of what you discovered – LOCAL WINE!