Our hillside vineyard was planted in the Spring of 1998 and now encompasses over 8,000 grape vines. We grow twelve different varieties of grapes. The vines are pruned and the grapes are harvested entirely by hand to improve wine quality. We use sustainable farming methods in the vineyard. We use no pesticides and no synthetic fertilizers.
Of our twelve different grape varieties, three are of the vitis vinifera species, one (Cynthiana-Norton) is all-American and the remainder are hybrids. Vitis vinifera are traditional European varities, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. Hybrids are varieties that have mixed European and American parentage, combining the good winemaking qualities of the European with the hardiness of the American. We are one of the few commercial vineyards in the midwest that grows both vitis vinifera and hybrids
Chardonnay – This traditional European grape makes an excellent, full-bodied white wine. We age ours in American oak.
Chardonel – A hybrid cross between Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc. This variety grows very well in our hillside vineyard and makes an excellent crisp, refreshing white wine.
La Crescent – An excellent white hybrid from the University of Minnesota. Often called the “Riesling of the Midwest.”
Melody – A hybrid of the Pinot Blanc grape. Makes excellent fruity white wines.
Traminette – Another hybrid whose main parent is the French/German grape Gewurztraminer. This is an excellent grape that makes several styles of rich, spicy white wine, from dry to late harvest sweet.
Viognier – A European varietal from the Rhone Valley of France. Makes luscious, aromatic white wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon – Often called the “King of Grapes.” Makes outstanding, long-lived red wine.
Cabernet Franc – Actually a parent of Cabernet Sauvignon. Produces wine that is slightly softer than its offspring. This grape is among the most cold hardy of the European varieties.
Cynthiana (Norton) – The classic American wine grape. Makes full bodied, spicy red wines.
Chambourcin – A French Hybrid from the Loire Valley that makes excellent, fruity red wine.
Crimson Cabernet – Â This is a ground-breaking hybrid that is a cross between Cynthiana/Norton and Cabernet Sauvignon. We are among the first vineyards in the country to have this fabulous new grape. It combines the best qualities of its two great parents. Â Our first two vintages have been gold medal winners!
Marquette – One of the parents of this highly acclaimed hybrid is Pinot Noir. It makes a soft, yet complex dry red wine.