Flag Hill Grapes

At Flag Hill we choose to produce grape wines that reflect the flavors of grapes that can be grown in our region, which are mostly hybrid varieties. While you won’t find Merlot or Chardonnay in our tasting room, you will find both red and white wines suited to fit a variety of tastes. Many ask why we don’t grow Merlot, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay. The simple answer is that they are not varieties suited to withstand the cold temperatures of the Northeast.

Niagara, green grape (white wines)
Variety: North American
Species: Vitis labrusca
Cluster type: Large grape, round to oval shaped, loose cluster
Created in: 1868, cross breed of Concord and Cassidy grapes
Good for: Jams, jellies, juice and sweet white wine
Fun fact: leading green grape grown in the US
Common flavor profile of wine from this grape: sweet and foxy

Vignoles, wine grape (white wines)
Variety: Multispecies, interspecific hybrid, commonly referred to as a French-Hybrid
Species: Parentage includes multiple species (Cross of grapes: Seibel 8665 and Pinot de corton)
Cluster type: Small to medium grape, round shaped, tight cluster
Good for: Sweet to dry white wine, late harvest dessert wines
Fun fact: Vignoles is also known as Ravat 51, named after its creator JF Ravat
Common flavor profile of wine from this grape: citrus, pineapple and apricot

Cayuga, wine grape (white wines)
Variety: Multispecies, interspecific hybrid, commonly referred to as an American-Hybrid
Species: Parentage includes a cross of Schuyler and Seyval Blanc
Cluster type: Medium to large grape, round to oval shaped, moderately tight cluster
Good for: Sweet to off-dry white wine, sparkling wine (American champagne)
Fun fact: Developed at Cornell University in NY, first sold commercially in early 70s
Common flavor profile of wine from this grape: apples, peaches, soft pineapples, grapefruit

La Crescent, wine grape (white wines)
Variety: Multispecies, interspecific hybrid, commonly referred to as a Minnesota-Hybrid
Species: Parentage includes a cross of St. Pepin and E.S. 6-8-25 (Vitis riparia x Muscat Hamburg)
Cluster type: Small grape, round, slightly loose to loose cluster
Good for: Sweet to off-dry white wine, dessert or late harvest style wines
Fun fact: Developed at the University of Minnesota and is extremely cold hardy, being able to withstand winter temperatures of 20 to 35 below zero Farenheit
Common flavor profile of wine from this grape: apricot, peach and citrus

De Chaunac, wine grape (red wines)
Variety: Multispecies, interspecific hybrid, commonly referred to as a French-Hybrid
Species: Parentage includes a cross of Seibel 9549 and (most likely) Seibel 793
Cluster type: Small grape, round, loose to semi-loose cluster
Good for: Light, fruit forward red wines or blended to soften dry red wines or with blended with dessert wines
Fun fact: Developed by Albert Seibel, but names after Adhemar de Chaunac, a pioneer in the Ontario wine industry
Common flavor profile of wine from this grape: soft red cherries, cinnamon and prunes

Marechal Foch, wine grape (red wines)
Variety: Multispecies, interspecific hybrid, commonly referred to as a French-Hybrid
Species: Parentage is unclear, but may possibly include Goldriesling, some vitis riparia – vitis rupestris, and Oberlin Noir
Cluster type: Small grape, round, tight cluster
Good for: Lightly sweet to dry red wine, does well in a range of oaking styles
Fun fact: Named after the French marshal, Ferdinand Foch, who played a key role in negotiating armistice terms at the end of World War I
Common flavor profile of wine from this grape: spicy black cherry, earthy, plums

Read more about the history and origins of hybrid grape varieties in our Cold Climate Viticulture section.

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