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Edelweiss: Varietal Focus

Edelweiss is best known as the European mountain flower with a pleasing floral scent. The 1959 Rogers and Hammerstein musical, “The Sound of Music,” immortalized the Edelweiss flower as Captain Georg Ritter von Trapp sang of its hardiness to bloom, die and bloom again. It is the flower of kings and emperors symbolizing strength, love, dedication and bravery. The Edelweiss (pronounced A-del-VISE or A-del-WISE) grape has similar characteristics as it is winter hardy and will bloom early and will produce abundantly for many years. As delicate as a flower, Edelweiss wine delivers a delicate floral aroma with mouthwatering sweet peach, pear, honey, and pineapple flavors in the glass. Edelweiss means noble (edel) white (weiss) in Germany. The Edelweiss grape, however, is a hybrid white grape variety that was produced in 1978 by Elmer Swenson of Osceola, Wisconsin in cooperation with the University of Minnesota. Edelweiss is a hybrid cross of Minnesota 78 (Vitis riparia) and Ontario (Vitis labrusca). It is a seeded table grape but it can produce a remarkable Riesling-like semi-dry, semi-sweet, or sweet white table wine when harvested