With origins in Spain, Garnacha grapes may now be more commonly associated with the Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon region of France where it’s known as Grenache. Learn about Garnacha’s background and making the best version of wine with it.
Some people have called Zinfandel “America’s grape,” others say it should be Concord. Chik Brenneman is here to make the case for the first true North American wine grape variety: Catawba.
A hybrid grape that came out of Cornell University’s breeding program in the 1970s, Cayuga White has found great success while being made into a wide array of wine styles. Learn about its qualities plus a recipe to craft your own at home.
A grape of Mediterranean origins, Malvasia grapes spread throughout the region under the umbrella name. Get the scoop on this unusual family of grapes and the variety brought to North America under the title Malvasia Bianca.
Grape varietal names can be a confusing world, typically because one grape varietal may have over a dozen names based on location. But in this case, one grape name has an array of grape varietals. Get the scoop on Bonarda Argentine, one whose history is finally making sense thanks to DNA analysis.
As with many Old World grapes that are grown widely, Blaufränkisch goes by many names. And thanks to its versatility in the winery and cool-climate tolerance, its popularity is surging. Learn more about this mysterious grape.
Scattered throughout the Upper Midwest and Rockies, Frontenac wines are making waves as winemakers learn to coax a lot of flavor from this red grape. Chik Brenneman offers several tips and tricks to working with this hybrid varietal.
The king of the white wines, Chardonnay can be expressed in a wide array of styles. Chik Brenneman takes readers on a journey through this grape’s story and tips to creating his favorite version of wine from Chardonnay grapes.
Elmer Swenson’s grape breeding program has had a profound effect on the North American wine scene. One such grape to come from his program is Brianna, a grape that required an estimated 93 crosses to produce. Learn about this grape’s heritage as well as how to best work with it.
More commonly associated by the wine it produces, Melon de Bourgogne is the grape varietal behind Muscadet wines and the sur lie aging technique. But its mystique doesn’t stop there. Learn more about this old grape varietal known by many names.
Similar to a varietal like Malbec, Carménère has come to be identified with the wine growing regions of South America, but this grape actually was one of the classics of Bordeaux. Chik Brenneman explains the history of this varietal and how to tame this grape when it gets temperamental.
Grenache Blanc is a grape from the northwestern region of Spain and, as the name implies, has evolved from Grenache Noir. Chik Brenneman provides instructions on making this grape shine, starting in the vineyard and taking it through to bottle.
One of the mainstay grapes found in the heat-prone regions in the Rhône Valley of France is Cinsault. It often is utilized in blends to add softness to Rhône-style wines. Another great use is to turn it into rosé wine. Chik Brenneman gives you the scoop on this varietal.
Elmer Swenson helped revolutionize the greater wine world with his cold-hardy grape breeding program. One such grape varietal that emerged from all his work was LaCrosse, with five species of grapes in its heritage. Learn about this grape made popular in colder climates — for good reasons.
In its homeland in the south of France, Roussanne grapes love some heat . . . probably one reason that it’s found a new home in the Texas Hill Country. Learn about this white grape that can stand up to being a varietal wine when conditions are right or blended with others.
Anyone well versed in wine grape nomenclature knows that Primitivo and Zinfandel are genetically identical. Yet test trials have shown there are some differences with grape types. Learn some of the history and best practices when handling Primitivo.
Originally bred in southwestern France, Baco Noir is a French-American hybrid whose acreage has declined in its native country, but has since emigrated to American soil. Learn about this grape that has found success in some cooler-climate North American vineyards.
When it comes to the grapes found in Champagne, most casual wine drinkers can point to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, but Pinot Meunier is often left off that list. Find out about the forgotten grape of Champagne, its history, and why you may want to give it a try if you can.
The grape of North America, Concord has come to dominate the grape juice and jelly markets, but making a solid wine with it can require a little more care than most vinifera grapes. Chik Brenneman digs deep to come up with a solid game plan to making a worthy wine from this grape variety.
Towards the end of the fall 2018 harvest I was looking for a little respite in my calendar, and I came across an appointment scheduled for a Friday night in late November simply titled “Grüner Tasting.” It piqued my interest and I got a little excited about it but didn’t have a clue how it
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.com Wine brings people together. This is cause for great reflection for me personally because as you read this, I will have been retired from the University of California Teaching and Research Winery for several months. It is a very sentimental time in my life because of all the contacts I made