Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Seeds & wine of the Wooster, Ohio, V. aestivalis var. bicolor fruit

Well, I finally got the fruit fermenting that I collected as described in my last post!  Here are the cleaned seeds at the same scale:

It is very clear that the UU seeds are much larger than the Oak Hill/Highland seeds which reflects the berry sizes that I mentioned in the last post.  Of course, this is enough seed to plant an acre vineyard!  But I have the seeds and can now grow a diverse population of these vines where ever I want!

To clean the seeds I made some very small batch wines of the fruit.  Wild aestivalis fruit takes some water and sugar to dilute the acid then get the Brix back up for sufficient alcohol.  The wine gets light colored in the process, but these vines yielded wine that is about like Pinot Noir in color depth and very much like Norton in flavor with much stronger tannin structure.

The wine is still fermenting along at a good clip and is still sweet, so I expect the dry wine to be rather raspy in mouth feel.  All in all, I have to rate the grapes very high in their potential to mother excellent Norton-like hybrid seedlings.  A cross with Chambourcin will be attempted on them next Spring if I am able!

Keep up the great work!  You've all done very well!