The motivation for launching Vermont’s wine industry was rather unique. The first winery opened in 1997, with a mission of “keeping land open and working.” Owners of Snow Farm Winery wanted to offer an economic alternative to farmers: to curb residential and commercial development in Vermont’s rural lands. Since then the number of farm wineries has grown to almost half a dozen. With such a young industry and even younger vines, Vermont growers and wine producers are just starting to learn exactly how good Vermont-grown wine can be. Currently, French hybrid varieties dominate, with Leon Millot, Baco Noir, Seyval Blanc, Vidal and Cayuga being popular choices. Cold-hardy clones of vinifera varieties like Riesling and Zweigelt are also in the ground, with results pending. In this northern climate growers keep a keen eye on the latest canopy management and organic farming techniques in order to increase sun exposure and to minimize mildew diseases without intensive spraying programs.
Since Thomas Jefferson first tried to cultivate European vinifera in Virginia, the state has been a decided piece of American wine country. Over the years better knowledge, equipment and materials have all contributed to an advancing wine industry, but the more recent decade or two has brought out the real potential that can be found.
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Marquette exhibits relative high levels of acid for a Red, but can easily be managed by solid winemaking