Thursday, June 19, 2008

planting vines

We ordered grapes from the local nursery. With all our attention on the vegetable gardens, we were a little too late to order our root stock from a vineyard here in Vermont, but our local nursery Dandelion Acres did right by us. So we start with what we can get: Frontenac Gris.

Bronze skin gives some color to the juice, and the wine can be pale gold to amber. The palate is intensely fruity, even tropical and peachy, and lends itself well to dessert wines, but also has proven it can stand up as a dry wine. The other grapes we’ve planted around the house are also this northern varietal, and we’ve been tasting several examples produced here and been intrigued with the stories pouring forth. We would be proud to make these wines, and we are proud that someone is making them here in our northern clime. The wines lead us in various directions: the grapefruit reminds us of sauvignon blanc, and the honeyed tones pull us to Sauternes. We can imagine pairing the wine with chicken liver pate made with orange and dried cherries or an orange and radicchio salad, or an omelet filled with local goat cheese and seasoned with lemon.

We’ve tilled and prepared the ground for our vines. Caleb digs the holes and I nestle the roots in and fill in with our clayey soil. We water; we mulch. We talk to the new vines, reminding them that someday, they too can make a great wine.


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