Seyval Blanc: Varietal Focus

The Seyval Blanc (Seyve-Villard 5276), a cold-climate white grape variety, is the leading choice for many winemakers who live in the chilly eastern and northern regions of North America. This hardy varietal produces abundant crops in cold climates and offers the winemaker an opportunity to make a variety of wines from one grape. Seyval Blanc can be made in a fruity, crisp style for early drinking, or in a more austere style, like many Chardonnays. The variety also lends itself well to making dessert wines and sparkling wines. And, perhaps the best asset of all, Seyval Blanc is an outstanding blending wine that enhances whatever variety with which it is matched. Whether you buy Seyval Blanc grapes or juice, the prices are usually much lower than for other premier varieties. Seyval Blanc was born in the latter part of the 1800s as a result of the disastrous phylloxera plight, which ravaged the vineyards of Europe and most of the world. The native American varieties (vitis labrusca) were immune to phylloxera, but the European cultivars (vitis vinifera) were not. Scientists at