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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Another word on Ohio grapes

Posted By on Thu, Oct 19, 2006 at 8:58 PM

In the article on the award-winning Ohio Riesling ["Tempted by the Fruit of Another," October 18], it was written: "In the 1860s, the Ohio region was the biggest producer of wines anywhere in the country. Farmers here harvested Concord and Catawba grapes, which are cheap to produce and resistant to cold climates. But these grapes produce wines as syrupy and sweet as jelly. Critics consider them to be about as sophisticated as Welch's grape juice. And that's what Ohio wine became known for." I wanted to offer a correction: These old American grape varieties don't make syrupy wines themselves; rather, that was the style that was made from them, almost universally. It is possible to make a very fragrant, but dry and elegant wine from them. I have been making such wines as a home winemaker for years. Unfortunately, the style is only now slowly becoming more popular among winemakers in the Finger Lakes seeking to redefine native-grape wines for our times. I wish them, and all other forward-thinking winemakers, all the best in this regard. Paul Bulas Toronto

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