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July 10, 2006

Three New Grapes from Cornell

Cornell Releases Three New Wine Grapes

These three, 'Noiret', 'Corot Noir', and 'Valvin Muscat', were just released at the meeting of the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. Back when I worked there, these three selections (formerly NY73.0136.17, NY70.0809.10, and NY62.0122.01, respectively) were always front and center among the elite selections, and it seems to me that they've been obvious candidates for release for an eternity now, so I'm pleased to see them out there in the world with proper names and everything. It's nice to see something I had a hand in developing hitting the market at last.

They all make some pretty fine wines, too. I especially like the 62.0122.01, 'Valvin Muscat', which would make a great desert wine. (I know because I made wine from it six or seven years ago). It's kind of a runty little vine, but yields are still decent, and apparently it does better grafted.

I really liked the old Cornell name scheme of local place names much better than the new trend, which seems to be French-inspired names (though I must concede that the average wine buyer is probably more impressed with a Frenchy-sounding name on a bottle). Names like 'Seneca', 'Cayuga White' and 'Canadice' (after Finger Lakes) or 'Himrod', 'Lakemont', 'Interlaken', and 'Glenora' (after local towns). Still, nothing wrong with these, though I will forever think of them by their numbers.

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