Monday, August 13, 2007

Taylor Ridge Vineyard Grape Varieties

Red Varieties

Cabernet Franc: Produces an aromatic red wine that is softer than Cabernet Sauvignon. A vinifera variety used as one of the grapes in Red Bordeaux.

Chambourcin: Makes a good red but also makes a good blush wine. It ages well.

Concord: One of the oldest American varieties. It makes a strong flavored foxy wine, which is sometimes made dry but usually sweet.

Dechaunac: Makes a wine reminiscent of some Italian wines.

Foch: Produces a fruity red table wine with a distinctive varietal flavor. Good acid: sugar balance.

Frontenac: Produces a full bodied wine which is especially good for blending with Dechaunac or Foch.

GR-7: Another New York State Hybrid. It makes darker red wines and it has a good tannin structure.

Landot 4511: Reminiscent of Beaujolais. Similar to Foch in ripening.

Leon Millot: This wine has a distinct berry aroma. It is a sister variety of Foch.

Noiret: Produces wine with notes of green and black pepper and raspberry. Good tannin.

White Varieties

Cayuga White: Can be made either into a semi-sweet wine emphasizing its fruity aromas or dry for a less fruity wine.

Chardonnel: This grape is a cross of Seyval and Chardonnay with hints of Chardonnay character.

Chardonnay: The premier French white wine grape, which is used in making Chablis or white burgundy. It is also a part of the champagne blend in France.

Espirit: Wine has a mildly fruity flavor.

Lacrescent: The wine has a distinct apricot flavor with good aromatics and blends with more neutral whites. (First crop probably in 2008)

LaCrosse: This is a versatile wine grape, which can be made dry but also makes a good semi dry wine. Wine has good body and can improve body of lighter wines.

Muscat Ottonel: A true European Muscat grape that can make a rich dessert wine.

Niagara: A floral wine with a unique flavor. One of the oldest American varieties, it is also used in American champagnes.

Reliance: Produces high sugars and makes a rich tasting wine.

Seyval: This grape is the mainstay of the hybrid white wines in Michigan. It can be made dry or semi-sweet and blends well with LaCrosse.

St. Pepin: This grape is a hybrid of Seyval and makes an excellent sweet wine.

Traminette: A Gew├╝rztraminer hybrid wine having a spicy quality reminiscent of the Gew├╝rztraminer parent.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Health benefits of red wine

Compound in Red Wine May Be Key to Heart Health
But levels of procyanidins aren't the same in all wines, study says

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The benefits of red wine keep pouring in: British researchers now say that higher levels of procyanidins -- a compound found in red wine -- have potent protective effects on blood vessels.

But, the levels of procyanidins -- a type of flavonoid polyphenol -- vary in different types of wines, depending on where they're produced. Red wines from areas in southwest France and Sardinia, where traditional winemaking is still practiced and where people tend to live long lives, have higher levels of the compound, the researchers said.

"The endothelial cells which line our arteries are an important site of action for the vascular protective effects of polyphenols," Roger Corder, of Queen Mary's School of Medicine and Dentistry in London, said in a prepared statement. "We purified the most biologically active polyphenols and identified them as procyanidins."

The researchers then tested wines from two regions in southwest France and Sardinia and compared them with wines from other countries. The wines from France and Sardinia had surprisingly high levels of procyanidins, often five to 10 times more than wines produced elsewhere, the researchers found.

These findings suggest that although a glass or two a day can benefit the circulatory system, not all red wines provide the same amount of polyphenols.

"The traditional production methods used in Sardinia and southwestern France ensure that the beneficial compounds, procyanidins, are efficiently extracted," Corder said. "This may explain the strong association between consumption of traditional tannic wines with overall well-being, reflected in greater longevity."

Thursday, August 2, 2007


In 1975, we began planting our vineyard for the purpose of supplying home winemakers with a variety of locally grown, fresh grapes for winemaking. We now raise 21 varieties including Vinifera, French hybrids, New York and Minnesota hybrids and the traditional American varieties, Niagara and Concord.

In 1980, we added a cooler and press so that we are now able to provide fresh, lightly pressed juice that has settled and been chilled to retard fermentation. Our grapes are all hand picked and mostly grown on our own farm. Those that we buy are grown locally. We cluster, thin and open the ripening grapes to full sun by combing out the individual shoots.

Crop Outlook-2007

We have a wonderful crop with an excellent berry set. The heat summation table is the highest at this point in the last 12 years and the fall harvest could be one of the best in the last decade. We thin our crop and comb out the vines to allow maximum sun exposure. As of July 1, 2007, predictions for the grape harvest are 10-14 days ahead of normal harvest dates.