In Wine Types and Styles

Over the years, I’ve noticed that it’s easy for wineries to fall subject to – what I like to call – the “ice cream syndrome.” In this case, one varietal wine is made for each wine grape variety brought into the cellar. Soon, a wine list in a tasting room can feel a bit like a list of ice cream flavors on an ice cream shop menu:

  1. Chardonnay
  2. Grüner Veltliner
  3. La Crescent
  4. Cayuga
  5. Cayuga Reserve
  6. Moscato
  7. Pinot Noir
  8. Cabernet Sauvignon
  9. Cabernet Franc
  10. Cabernet Franc Reserve
  11. Chambourcin
  12. Noiret
  13. Chancellor
  14. Concord

The list can go on and on.

Listing the variety name on a wine label has its benefits. Many fruit wines, obviously, would benefit from a name that reflects the fruit the wine is made from. Additionally, American consumers tend to identify with many wine grape variety names on a wine bottle. This is especially true when names are well-known like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Moscato, etc.

However, what about French American Hybrid wine grape varieties? In some of my previous travels, I heard local grape growers and winery owners reject the integration of more hybrid wine grapes because they found them difficult to sell to consumers. There is lots of reasons that may contribute to this including …


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