Frontenac is a French-American hybrid grape varietal developed by the University of Minnesota and released in 1996. Our first planting of Frontenac was in 1999 and it has consistently been a strong producer. It is well suited to our gravel and clay soil and has established itself as a varietal as well as great in blends. Frontenac's deep garnet color complements its distinctive cherry aroma and inviting palate of blackberry, black currant, and plum. This versatile grape can be made into a variety of wine styles, including rosé, red, and port. Frontenac pairs well with hearty foods such as beef, lamb, pasta dishes, and barbecue.
Marquette is a cousin of Frontenac and grandson of Pinot noir. Viticulturally, Marquette is outstanding. Marquette's high sugar and moderate acidity make it very manageable in the winery. Finished wines are complex, with attractive ruby color, pronounced tannins, and desirable notes of cherry, berry, black pepper, and spice on both nose and palate. As a red wine, Marquette represents a new standard in cold-hardy viticulture and enology. Our first planting of Marquette was in 2007 and we have continued to plant this variety every year. We have a section in Maya's Block vineyard and a substantial planting in our new Bella's Block vineyard.
Marechal Foch was developed in Alsace, France by Eugene Kuhlmann in the beginning of the twentieth century and was named after the French marshal Ferdinand Foch (1851-1929), who played an important role in the First World War. The quality of wine produced by Marechal Foch vines is highly dependent upon vine age, with fruit picked from older vine exhibiting more complex aroma and flavors with less undesirable herbaceous notes found in younger vines. The berry size of this variety is small. Marechal Foch can be made into a variety of wines ranging from a light red wine similar to Beaujolais, to a more extracted wine with intense dark purple color, black fruit flavor, and a unique varietal character. It is often considered to possess Burgundian characteristics, having a vibrant, deep purple color, with a light-medium structure and dark berry fruit characteristics. Some tasters find the similarities to Burgundy Pinot noir become more pronounced with age. Our Marechal Foch vines were planted in 1998 and 1999.
St Croix was developed by Elmer Swenson and released in 1981. It produces a bluish-red grape that makes a medium- to full-bodied, dry, deep red wine with soft tannins and good aromas including blackberry, currant, violet, and spice. St. Croix has been very popular with many of our friends. We started planting St. Croix in 1999 and 2004 and will be planting more in the future.
Noiret was developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University in 1973. Originally known as NY73.0136.17, it was named and released to the winegrowers in 2006. Poocham Hill Winery participated in the testing of this grape, planting our vines in 2001. Noiret produces an excellent full-bodied, richly colored wine. A major distinguishing characteristic of this selection is the fine tannin structure that is complete from the front of the mouth to the back. The wines can resemble Shiraz (Syrah) with a distinct black pepper character and notes of raspberry, blackberry, and mint. Pair Noiret wines with beef, pasta, and sharp cheeses.
Lacrosse produces medium size white grapes much like Seyval Blanc. It makes a good stand-alone varietal wine and is also used for blending for lighter wines to add body and finish. Fermented in oak, Lacrosse makes a nice dry wine. Aromas range from pear, apricot, and slightly muscat to citrus & floral, depending on the winemaking style. It pairs well with seasoned chicken and seafood. We planted experiential vines in 2000 and then a more substantial planting in 2004.
Introduced in 2003, Frontenac Gris, the white wine version of Frontenac, started as a single bud mutation yielding gray (thus named gris) fruit and amber-colored juice. We planted Frontenac Gris in 2004, in the lower end of Maya's Block vineyard. Frontenac Gris wines present aromas of peach and apricot with hints of enticing citrus and tropical fruit. A brilliant balance of fruit and acidity creates lively, refreshing wines. Unique and complex flavors make this an excellent grape for table, dessert, and ice wines.
Seyval Blanc is a yellow-white variety with large, compact clusters of medium berries. It was developed in Drome, France by Seyve-Villard and released in the 1930's. It is an excellent white wine variety, with a characteristic citrus element in aroma and taste. Although thin bodied, this wine has attractive aromas of apricots, peaches, and nectarines. Seyval Blanc wines pair well with appetizers, fish, salads, garlic dishes, and cheeses. Our Seyval Blanc was planted in 1999.
La Crescent combines St. Pepin and Muscat Hamburg. It is a grape that has done well in the New Hampshire and Vermont climates and has become very popular. La Crescent's intense nose of apricot, peach, and citrus lends itself to superior quality off-dry or sweet white wines. The grape's high acidity provides good structure for excellent dessert or late-harvest style wines.
The off-dry, sweet white wine pairs well with appetizers, seafood and chicken. La Crescent can also be produced in a Germanic style similar to Riesling. We have just started our planting of La Crescent this year and have high expectations for this varietal grape.