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La Crescent

La Crescent
photo credit: University of Minnesota, David L. Hansen La Crescent is another white wine grape introduced in 2002. A cross-breed of St. Pepin and Swenson grapes, La Crescent is a hardy vine. La Crescent is mildly resistant to disease, sometimes susceptible to downy mildew. However, the vines have survived in temperatures as low as -36° F, making it an excellent candidate for Old Folsom Vineyard. La Crescent grapes are highly acidic. They are frequently used in semi-sweet or dessert wines made in a Germanic style similar to Vignole or Riesling. Hints of apricot, peach, citrus, and honey ...
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Brianna

Brianna
Elmer Swenson, a pioneer grape breeder in the Midwest, developed this white wine grape. Brianna is particularly hardy in the Southern South Dakota climate. The vines’ grapes are greenish-gold to gold when they are ready to be harvested in early to mid September. Wines made from Brianna grapes are balanced with pineapple nose and flavor. The grapes are also used in flavorful white juices.
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Frontenac Gris

Frontenac Gris
Frontenac Gris, literally “Grey Frontenac,” is used in white wines. Viticulturally, it is identical to Frontenac with vigorous growth and high yields. Frontenac Gris has survived in temperatures as low as -38° F. However, unlike Frontenac, Frontenac Gris is ready for harvest in mid-season. Its resistance to disease is decent with a moderate susceptibility to powdery mildew and black rot and a very low susceptibility to downy mildew. The grapes are small and grey, grown in medium-sized, loose clusters. Because of their sweetness, they are often used in high quality table and dessert wines...
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Frontenac

Frontenac
photo credit: University of Minnesota, David L. Hansen Frontenac was introduced in 1995—the first in a series of new wine grape varieties developed by the University of Minnesota for Upper Midwest conditions. It is a cross of Vitis riparia 89 and the French hybrid Landot Noir. Frontenac was developed to be resilient despite the cold, Midwest winters. In fact, the vine has survived after temperatures as low as -30° F. However, in colder climates, the grapes must remain on the vine for a longer period of time before they are mature. Frontenac is also very disease resistant. It is nearly i...
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Marquette

Marquette
Developed by the University of Minnesota, Marquette is a cousin of Frontenac and grandson of Pinot Noir. It originated from a cross of MN 1094, a complex hybrid of Vitis riparia, Vitis vinifera, and other Vitis species, with Ravat 262. Like Frontenac, Marquette is immune to downy mildew and powdery mildew. It is also fairly resistant to black rot. Marquette grapes are high in sugar content and moderately acidic. They are used in red wines, often complex in flavor, with an attractive ruby color, pronounced tannins, and notes of cherry, berry, black pepper, and spice on both nose and palat...
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Roots

An Italian Tradition [caption id="attachment_98" align="aligncenter" width="860"] The family cemetery in Gallio, Italy[/caption] On May 6th of 1913, Antonio Joseph Finco immigrated to the United States from Gallio, Italy, a small village near Assiago in the northern part of the country. Antonio, like his father and fathers before him, made wine. However, upon moving to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, he found grapes hard to come by. Anxious to preserve his heritage and carry on the tradition of years of ancestors before him, Antonio and the Italians of Ironwood, Michigan, ordered grapes f...
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Marquette wins Bronze in San Francisco

Marquette wins Bronze in San Francisco
The 2014 vintage of The American, made by Firehouse Wine Cellars with 100% Old Folsom Vineyard-grown Marquette grapes, won a bronze medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition! Over 4,600 wines were entered in 2016, making it the largest international wine competition in the US. This is the second award received by this particular Marquette vintage. It also won a silver medal in the Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in March.
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Soil Health in the Vineyard

Soil Health in the Vineyard
Ron Butler chatted with Mike about vineyard soil health for his piece in Midwest Wine Press this month: "Soil health has been the buzz across agriculture for the past couple of years as USDA, soil scientists, conservationists, and input suppliers have dished the dirt to stoke this hot topic. Vineyard managers may wonder what the fuss is about. Many have been ahead of row crop farmers several years. After all, vineyard soil almost always presents challenges requiring attention. Even soils ideally matched to the wine grapes growing in them still need a lot of TLC to improve root habitat. From S...
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In the News: The Sweet Sommelier Reviews The American

On President's Day, 2016, Firehouse Wine Cellars released The American made 100% from our 2014 Marquette grapes. Thanks to The Sweet Sommelier (aka, Kara Sweet) for this write-up: "The American proves its character from the first glance. A beautiful, medium-bodied wine, the garnet color reflects its stellar bloodline as a Pinot Noir descendant.  The smell was also reminiscent of its grandpa, with just-ripe plum, wet earth, slight mint, and green pepper; all these same elements showed through to the palate as well, then led to a spectacular spicy finish.  What a food friendly wine The American...
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