Missouri Wine Grapes 101

Norton (sometimes called Cynthiana) is a native Missouri grape that produces a rich, full-bodied red wine that improves with age. Nortons typically have a dry character, similar in style to Cabernet Sauvignon, yet with the spiciness of a Zinfandel.

Chambourcin (sham-bor-san) produces a medium-bodied red wine with a fruity aroma and cherry and earthy/spicy complexities, much like a Pinot Noir.

St. Vincent is a hybrid that makes reds of delicacy and elegance. Often used for Nouveau-style wines, it also can have a Burgundian character and is occasionally slightly sweet.

Vidal (vee-dahl) is a white hybrid used to make a dry to semi-dry, full-bodied wine with fruity characteristics, similar to Italian dry whites. Vidal’s clean citrus flavors of lemon and grapefruit create a nicely balanced wine.

Chardonel (shahr-du-nel) is a cross of the famed Chardonnay grape with the popular Seyval. Usually barrel fermented, Chardonel wines are dry and full-bodied.

Seyval  (say-vahl)  makes a dry to semi-dry, clean, crisp medium-bodied wine with an herbal, fresh flavor, similar to Chenin Blanc. Barrel-fermented Seyval takes on an oak complexity.

Vignoles (veen-yole) is a versatile grape that makes wines ranging from dry to a late-harvest dessert wine. Luscious floral aroma and fruity flavors of pineapple and apricot are somewhat similar to a German Riesling.

Cayuga (ki-u-ga) is a hybrid from New York that generally produces a light, fragrant, fruity white wine, similar to a German Riesling.

Concord is America’s original dessert wine, famous for its deep purple color, intense fruit flavor, and classic sweetness. A good after-dinner wine.

Catawba (ca-taw-ba) is a pretty pink grape used in the production of blush and rosé wines. Strawberry-like Catawaba wines are generally medium-bodied, sweet and fragrant.


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