The University of Minnesota is releasing its fifth cold-hardy wine grape and it’s named ‘Itasca.’
Itasca wine grape.The new grape, which will be used to make dry white wines, is the latest in a series of cold-hardy cultivars released by the university that led to the nascent wine industry in Minnesota and other northern climates around the world. Itasca has lower acidity and high sugar levels, says U of M grape breeder Matt Clark, coupled with high resistance to common grape pests such as downy and powdery mildew and the insect phylloxera. It’s shown cold hardiness as far north as the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Zone 4.
“We believe these traits will make ‘Itasca’ a preferred variety for vineyard managers, because they will be able to reduce their spray inputs, and for wine makers in making a dry-style wine,” says Clark, an assistant professor of horticultural science. Licensed nurseries will begin selling the new cultivar in 2017.
Itasca produces a wine that is light yellow to straw in color and has aromas of pear, quince, violet, melon, minerals, and subtle honey notes. “This is a very nice grape with lots of potential as a wine maker’s grape,” said Bryan Forbes, the university’s wine maker. “It is clean and pleasant with pear and floral notes and mineral notes with a long finish.”
I dont have one yet, but its on my list. Looking for any real world experience…