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Wine 101

Vitis Labrusca - Vitis Vinifera - Hybrids - Fruit Wines - Spirits - Wine Making - Glossary - Varietals - Tasting

VITIS LABRUSCA


Vitis Labrusca is dedicated to improving the wine public’s knowledge and appreciation of native North American species of vine and hybrids. This section will contain information regarding the Vitis Aestivalis (Norton and Cynthiana), Vitis Rotundifolia (Muscadine), and Vitis Labrusca vine species. Within each report, a few wineries will be featured as well as a list of wineries that produce wine from the grape.
Norton - Muscadine - Catawba - Cayuga - Steuben - Delaware - Blanc Du Bois - Frontenac - Isabella - Mustang - Diamond - Fredonia

Norton

In 1873, the international wine community was stunned when a Missouri produced Norton wine was declared the “Best Red of All Nations” at an International competition in Vienna, Austria. At the time many European vineyards were just recovering from Phylloxera, and because of Norton’s relative immunity to disease and pests, this grape was designated as a possible savior to their ravaged vineyards. However, the vine’s intolerance to European soils lead to its quick fall from popularity. Today, Norton thrives in humid southern states, such as Virginia, Missouri as well as Arkansas, where it is referred to as the ‘Cabernet of the Ozarks’.

Norton or Vitis Aestivalis is a native North American grape officially discovered in 1823 by Dr. Daniel Norborne Norton (1794-1842), a physician from Richmond. Dr. Norton cultivated and nurtured this new species in a small plot of land known as Magnolia Farm, just northwest of the city of Richmond, along with 26 other varieties. Modestly named after himself, Norton was not created intentionally, but resulted as a chance of nature through open pollination, possibly between Pinot Meunier and a now extinct hybrid known as Bland.

Shortly after his discovery, Norton was quickly adopted by many growers as a hearty grape able to yield quality fruit for wine making. Based on sale documents, Norton is one of the oldest native grape varieties commercially used to make wine in North America. In fact, it was sold and used to make wines since 1830 as an inexpensive alternative to importing well-known European vinifera grapes, vines, and wines.

Norton exhibits hints of tart plums, sour cherries, or elderberries and has a spicy nose similar to Syrah. It is stronger in the front and mid-palette and has a velvety finish somewhere between a Merlot and Pinot Noir. Norton is often blended with other grapes like Tannat, Merlot, Syrah, and Petit Verdot to provide a more balanced wine. These blends are still referred to as “Norton” since, by law, as long at 75% of the wine is made from a single grape, you can still label it with the varietal name.

The largest producer of Norton in its home state of Virginia, as well as the Eastern U.S., is Chrysalis Vineyards. The vineyard’s owner, Jennifer McCloud, has made growing quality Norton grapes a personal crusade. Two of their better releases are 2002 Norton - Estate Bottled and 2002 Norton - Locksley Reserve. These wines were awarded an 89 and 88 rating respectively by the Virginia Wine Guide. Another successful Norton producer in Virginia is Horton Vineyards. Horton was the first Virginian winery to produce Norton after prohibition and their last release, 2002 Norton, was awarded a rating of 89 by the Virginia Wine Guide.

Although Norton, was "discovered" in Virginia, it is more popular in the American Midwest, where the grape is sometimes known as Cynthiana. Missouri has a proud wine producing history and was the first federally-approved American viticulture. In the late 19th century, the state was the second largest wine producing state in the United States. Norton has gained wide customer acceptance in Missouri and in 2004-2005, Norton wines won the Governor's Cup for the Best Missouri Wine: Augusta Winery’s 2002 Estate Bottled Norton in 2004 and Mount Pleasant Winery’s 2003 Norton in 2005. Mark Baehmann of Mount Pleasant Winery attributed Norton’s success in Missouri to its ability to produce quality wine while remaining disease resistant and hardy through winter. Another celebrated Missouri Norton is produced by Stone Hill Winery. Park Lukacs designated this wine as one of America's 40 greatest wines. In neighboring Kansas, Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery's Cynthiana won the 2004 Jefferson's Cup as the best wine made in the Midwest. And two of our favorites are produced nearby by Davenport Winery and Kugler's Vineyard.

Norton appears to be gaining popularity elsewhere in the United States. In New Jersey, Valenzano Winery’s Cynthiana won the 2004 & 2005 Governor's Cup. Approximately 115 wineries in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Illinois, Indiania, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsyvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia are making Norton or Cynthiana wine. These numbers should expand as more consumers discover Norton wine.

Resources:
From This Hill, My Hand, Cynthiana's Wine by Paul L. Roberts
Norton, America’s True Grape: Whence, and Whither? by Paul L. Roberts
“Red, White, and Norton” by Tolga Baki of Hillsborough Vineyards (http://www.hillsboroughwine.com) and the Virginia Wine Guide (http://www.virginiawineguide.com).
Exploring Missouri Wine Country by Brett Dufur
What's in the Norton name? A big surprise by By Jeff Siegel - Originally published by the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram
Wineries

Hidden Meadow Vineyard - AL
Ozan Vineyard And Cellars - AL
Whippoorwill Vineyards - AL
White Oak Vineyards - AL
Wills Creek Winery - AL
Chateux Aux Arc - AR
Cowie Wine Cellars - AR
Keels Creek Winery - AR
Mount Bethel Winery - AR
Post Familie Vineyards & Winery - AR
Wiederkehr Wine Cellars - AR
Strong Tower Vineyard and Winery - FL
Boutier Winery - GA
Cartecay Vineyards - GA
Castell Vineyards & Winery - GA
Cavender Creek Vineyards - GA
Crane Creek Vineyards - GA
Frogtown Cellars - GA
Hightower Creek Vineyard - GA
Odom Springs Vineyards - GA
Stonewall Creek Vineyards - GA
Three Sisters Vineyards - GA
Tiger Mountain Vineyards - GA
Bodega Victoriana - IA
Crane Winery - IA
Danish Countryside Vines and Wines - IA
Jasper Winery - IA
La Vida Loca Winery - IA
Prairie Hawk Vineyards and Winery - IA
Southern Hills Winery - IA
Sugar Clay Winery & Vineyards - IA
Timberhill Winery - IA
Vine Street Cellars - IA
Whispering Pines Winery - IA
Wide River Winery - IA
Wooden Wheel Vineyard - IA
Alto Vineyards - IL
August Hill Winery - IL
Baxter's Vineyards and Winery - IL
Berryville Vineyards - IL
Blue Sky Vineyard - IL
Cache River Basin Vineyard & Winery - IL
Cellars de Santom Winery - IL
Crooked Creek Winery - IL
Forsee Vineyards and Winery - IL
Fox Valley Winery - IL
GenKota Winery - IL
Hailey's Winery & Vineyard - Il
Hogg Hollow Winery - IL
Hopewell Winery - IL
Kickapoo Creek Winery - IL
Lasata Winery - IL
Mary Michelle Winery & Vineyard - IL
Orchard View Winery - IL
Owl Creek Vineyard - IL
Pheasant Hollow Winery - IL
Piasa Winery - IL
Prairie State Winery - IL
Ridge View Winery - IL
Schorr Lake Vineyards - IL
Sleepy Creek Vineyards - IL
Spirit Knob Winery - IL
StarView Vineyards - IL
Tuscan Hills Winery - IL
White Oak Vineyards - IL
Willow Ridge Vineyards & Winery - IL
The Winery at Shale Lake - IL
Coal Creek Cellars - IN
Country Moon Winery - IN
French Lick Winery - IN
Rettig Hill Winery - IN
TWO-EE's Winery - IN
Wine Shak Vineyard - IN
BlueJacket Crossing Vineyard & Winery - KS
Campbell Vineyard & Winery - KS
Davenport Winery - KS
Holy-Field Vineyard & Winery - KS
Kugler's Vineyard - KS
Middle Creek Winery - KS
Oz Winery - KS
Renaissance Cellars Winery - KS
Rowe Ridge Vineyard & Winery - KS
Smoky Hill Vineyards & Winery - KS
Stone Pillar Vineyard - KS
Wine Barn Winery and Vineyard - KS
Cave Hill Vineyards - KY
Cedar Creek Vineyards - KY
Chateau Du Vieux Corbeau - KY
Chrisman Mill Vineyards & Winery - KY
Elk Creek Vineyards - KY
Equus Run Vineyards - KY
First Vineyard - KY
Harkness Edwards Vineyards - KY
Horse Shoe Bend Vineyards - KY
Lovers Leap Vineyard & Winery - KY
Lullaby Ridge - KY
River Valley Winery - KY
Smith-Berry Winery - KY
Wight-Meyer Vineyard and Winery - KY
Wildside Vines Winery and Vineyard - KY
Landry Vineyards - LA
Pontchartrain Vineyards - LA
Deep Creek Cellars - MD
Layton's Chance Vineyard and Winery - MD
Blue Water Winery and Vineyard - MI
Lexington Brewing Company and Wine House - MI
7Cs Winery - MO
Adam Puchta Winery - MO
Albonée Winery - MO
Apple Creek Vineyard & Winery - MO
Artesian Springs Winery - MO
Augusta Winery - MO
Balducci Vineyards - MO
Baltimore Bend Vineyard - MO
Belmont Vineyards - MO
Belvoir Winery - MO
Bethlehem Valley Vineyards - MO
Bias Vineyards & Winery - MO
Blumenhof Vineyards & Winery - MO
Bommarito Estate Winery - MO
Branson Ridge Winery - MO
Buck Mountain Winery and Vineyard - MO
Buffalo Creek Vineyards and Winery - MO
Bushwhacker Bend Winery - MO
Canterbury Hill Winery - MO
Cave Vineyard - MO
Cedar Lake Cellars - MO
Chandler Hill Vineyards - MO
Charleville Vineyards - MO
Chateau Kinori Vineyards & Winery - MO
Chaumette Vineyards & Winery - MO
Claverach Farm and Vineyards - MO
Cooper's Oak Winery - MO
Counts Hollow Vineyard - MO
Crown Valley Winery - MO
Durso Hills Vineyard and Winery - MO
Eagle Pass Winery - MO
Eagle’s Nest Winery - MO
Eichenberg Winery - MO
Fahrmeier Family Vineyards - MO
Grey Bear Vineyards - MO
Heinrichshaus Vineyard & Winery - MO
Hermannhof Winery - MO
Holy Grail Winery - MO
Indian Creek Winery - MO
Jowler Creek Winery - MO
Keltoi Vineyard - MO
La Bella Vinyards & Winery - MO
La Dolce Vita Vineyard & Winery - MO
Ladoga Ridge Winery - MO
Les Bourgeois Vineyards - MO
Lewsi Winery - MO
Lindwedel Wine Garden - MO
Little Hills Winery - MO
Meramec Vineyards - MO
Montelle Winery - MO
Montserrat Vineyards - MO
Mount Pleasant Winery - MO
Mountain Grove Cellars - MO
Native Stone Vineyard - MO
Noboleis Vineyards - MO
OakGlenn Vineyards & Winery - MO
Peaceful Bend Vineyard - MO
Persimmon Ridge Vineyards - MO
Pirtle Winery - MO
Red Fox Winery & Vineyards - MO
River aux Vases Winery - MO
River Ridge Winery - MO
Riverwood Winery - MO
Röbller Vineyard Winery - MO
Rolling Meadows Vineyards - MO
Rothbrick Vineyard Winery - MO
Sainte Genevieve Winery - MO
Seven Springs Winery and Vineyards - MO
St. James Winery - MO
St. Jordan Creek Winery - MO
Stone Hill Winery - MO
Stonehaus Farms Winery - MO
Sugar Creek Winery & Vineyards - MO
Thousand Oaks Winery & Vineyard - MO
Three Squirrels Winery - MO
Three Trails Winery - MO
Tower Rock Winery - MO
Traver Home Winery - MO
Twin Oaks Vineyard and Winery - MO
Tyler Ridge Vineyard Winery - MO
Van Till Family Vineyards - MO
Vance Vineyards & Winery - MO
Viandel Vineyard - MO
Villa Antonio Winery - MO
Weingarten Vineyard - MO
Wenwood Farm Winery - MO
West Winery - MO
Westphalia Vineyards - MO
Whispering Oaks Vineyard & Winery - MO
White Mule Winery - MO
White Rose Winery - MO
Windy Wine Company - MO
Yellow Farmhouse Wines - MO
Benjamin Vineyards & Winery - NC
Calaboose Cellars - NC
Carolina Heritage Vineyard and Winery - NC
Cherokee Cellars - NC
Grove Winery - NC
Hinnant Family Vineyard - NC
Neuse River Winery - NC
Sanctuary Vineyards - NC
Deer Springs Winery - NE
James Arthur Vineyards - NE
Sage Hill Vineyard - NE
Soaring Wings Vineyard - NE
Laurita Vineyards & Winery - NJ
Renault Winery - NJ
Valenzano Winery - NJ
Pheasant Ridge Vineyards - NY
Henke Winery - OH
Meranda-Nixon Winery - OH
Shamrock Vineyard - OH
Chapel Creek Winery - OK
Rosebrook Vineyards - OK
Sailing Horse Winery - OK
Sand Hill Vineyards - OK
Stone Bluff Cellars Winery - OK
Summerside Vineyards Winery & Inn - OK
Tres Suenos Vineyards and Winery - OK
Glades Pike Winery - PA
Stone Mountain Wine Cellars - PA
Twin Brook Winery - PA
Hightower Creek Vineyards - SC
Palmetto Pickup Wines - SC
Valiant Vineyards Winery - SD
Beachaven Vineyards - TN
Beans Creek Winery - TN
Blue Slip Winery - TN
Century Farm Winery - TN
Corey Ippolito Winery - TN
Crown Winery - TN
Holly Ridge Winery and Vineyard - TN
Monteagle Winery - TN
Mountain Valley Winery - TN
Ocee Winery - TN
Old Millington Vineyard & Winery - TN
Tennessee Valley Winery - TN
Beavers Family Vineyards & Winery - TX
Delaney Vineyards - TX
Eden Hill Winery & Vineyards - TX
Enoch's Stomp Vineyard & Winery - TX
La Cruz de Comal Winery - TX
Los Pinos Ranch Vineyards - TX
Stone House Vineyard - TX
Tara Vineyard & Winery - TX
Tehuacana Creek Vineyards - TX
The Vineyard At Florence - TX
Abingdon Vineyard & Winery - VA
Barrel Oak Winery - VA
Belle Mount Vineyards - VA
Bluemont Vineyard - VA
Bright Meadows Farm Vineyard & Winery - VA
Burnley Vineyards - VA
Byrd Cellars - VA
Casanel Vineyards - VA
Castle Gruen Vineyards And Winery - VA
Chrysalis Vineyards - VA
Cooper Vineyards - VA
Desert Rose Ranch & Winery - VA
DeVault Family Vineyards - VA
Dry Mill Vineyards & Winery - VA
DuCard Vineyards - VA
Elk Island Winery - VA
Glass House Winery - VA
Horton Vineyards - VA
Jacey Vineyards - VA
Keswick Vineyards - VA
Lexington Valley Vineyard - VA
Molliver Vineyards - VA
Mountain Cove Vineyards - VA
New Kent Vineyards - VA
Peaks of Otter Winery - VA
Potomac Point Winery - VA
Rappahannock Cellars - VA
Rockbridge Vineyards - VA
Twin Oaks Tavern Winery - VA
Valhalla Vineyards - VA
Veramar Vineyard - VA
Virginia Wineworks - VA
Weston Farm Vineyard and Winery - VA
The Winery at Bull Run - VA
Winery at La Grange - VA
Wisteria Farm and Vineyard - VA
Fisher King Winery - WI
Daniel Vineyards - WV



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