J. Stephen Casscles

Bunches of Baco Noir grape hanging on the vine

Bountiful Baco Noir

Baco Noir is a French-American hybrid grape that was bred by François (some say Maurice) Baco. Baco (1865 – 1947) was a teacher from the town of Belus, Landes, Armagnac Province, France (south of Bordeaux).

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An image of Seyval Blanc grapes

Savoring Seyval

Seyval Blanc is a white French-American hybrid variety that is grown in the Hudson Valley. The grape is adaptable to different regions and climates, and is grown throughout the eastern United States, northern France, and England.

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An image of Vidal Blanc grapes

Versatile Vidal Blanc

Vidal Blanc, also known as Vidal 256, is a versatile grape that can be made into a bone-dry, steely wine for fish, a barrel-aged wine reminiscent of a Fumé Blanc, or an ice wine that can rival the best dessert Rhine wines produced in Germany.

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An image of Pinot Noir grapes

Perplexing Pinot Noir

The insightful observation made by the famous wine writer Jancis Robinson in her 1986 book, Vines, Grapes and Wines best sums up many thoughts on this illusive grape variety.

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An image of Vignoles Grapes

Velvety Vignoles

ignoles, a white grape also known as Ravat 51, has become one of the mainstays of the Eastern North American wine industry. This adaptable grape can produce wines that are comparable to wines produced in the Rhine Valley in Germany.

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An image of Chardonnay Grapes

Characterizing Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the noble grape variety that originally hails from Burgundy, France. It is believed by some to be an accidental or intentional hybrid that was propagated by local Burgundian growers, and is a cross of a Pinot Noir clone and the bulk wine/table grape known as Gouais.

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An image of Frontenac Grapes

Fruitful Frontenac

Frontenac is one of the most widely planted of the Minnesota hybrids in the Hudson Valley, successfully bred by grape breeding pioneer Elmer Swenson (1913-2004).

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An image of Riesling Grapes

Refreshing Riesling

The Hudson Valley’s beautiful river, shorelines, and mountains have led some to call the Valley, “America’s Rhineland.” Portions of the Valley have similar geological rock formations of shale, slate, and schist under well-drained clay soils that are similar to those found in the wine producing areas of the Rhine Valley.

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An image of Traminette Grapes

Tantalizing Traminette

Traminette is a white wine grape introduced relatively recently to the world of winemaking. Its cold-weather adaptability makes it easy to grow in the Hudson Valley, and it is rapidly gaining popularity among wine drinkers with an increasing number of Hudson Valley Traminette wines being produced today.

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view of Noiret grapes on the vine

Nuances of Noiret

Noiret is a relatively new hybrid grape variety used in red wine production, offering another option for cold climate grape growers.

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Mashing currants in a fermenting tank

Keeping it Currant

New York State was once the leading commercial producer of currants in the U.S., which could be found in everything from jams and preserves to syrup and Cassis wine and liqueurs.

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