Elmer Swenson is a legend in cool climate grape growing circles. This is thanks to all his research, mainly in Minnesota, developing hardy varieties that thrive in a cold climate growing season, survive cold winters, but can also make really good wine.
States other than California, Washington, and Oregon have often struggled for identity, recognition, and acceptance for their oft-maligned winemaking efforts. Midwestern wineries have struggled in some states and flourished in others.
Less than a hundred feet away from my desk a handful of young Frontenac and St. Croix vines are entering their third year here in Salt Lake City, and maybe they aren’t the only ones around. A few industrious pioneers and forward-thinking visionaries are betting blood, sweat, and acres on a ridiculous proposition: to create an authentically American, native grape capable of transforming the wine world.