Yes, you read the title correct, Minnesota wine! Who knew! Known more for extreme winters than wine, Minnesota is excelling at cold, hardy grape varieties like LaCrosse, St.Croix, and Frontenac. Referred to as hybrids, these grapes are a cross between two or more Vitis vinifera (or more commonly referred to as the European grapes, e.g. Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvigon, and Riesling) and have been bred to sustain harsh climates. Hybrids are becoming increasingly popular in Minnesota, although several wineries still source their grapes from other states. One winery in particular, Fieldstone Vineyards, is producing Minnesota grown grapes.
Located in Morgan, Minnesota, Fieldstone has been crafting award winning vintages since 2003. Concentrating on locally grown grapes, Fieldstone crafts several different wines to please all palates. The kind people at Fieldstone sent me several samples for a taste of Minnesota. With so many options to choose from, I decided to start with a white, the Petite Amie. A semi-sweet wine, the wine offered up nice floral notes on the nose. In the mouth, apple and citrus notes, with a syrup-like finish. As this wine warmed up, the more it improved. An interesting wine with lots of upside.
Next in the lineup is the Glacial Rock Red made from 100% Frontenac. In a blind tasting, I would have pegged this as a Port for sure. The nose shouts Port, and displays lots of plum and black cherry in the mouth. I’m not a Port fan, so I can’t fairly assess this particular wine. The Frontenac grapes continues to grow in popularity in colder states, so I’d love to read some comments from fans of the grape.
The last of the wines featured the LaCrosse. A hybrid of Seyval Blanc, the wine is a fruit forward, white wine.
With 20 plus wineries on the scene already and more on the horizon, Minnesota is quickly making a push for their place in the expanding wine world! I recommend a visit to Fieldstone Vineyards and be sure to tell them The Other 46 sent you.
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