Thursday, January 17, 2013

Organic Wine in the Hudson Valley: Clearview Vineyard Estate Noiret 2010

If you ask Frank and Karen Graessle, they will tell you they make organic wines. And they do! But when they first started out, they had a mishap.

The recently finished winery building.
“We used a Dupont product that we thought was organically approved for the first two years of growing and then found that it is not approved in New York State, but was approved in other states. We switched to an approved product that was almost identical, but approved in New York State for organic certification two years ago. To receive organic certification you must prove that you have grown your grapes for three years with only products that are approved. We will seek organic certification of our grapes this fall [2013]. Until then we consider our grapes to be organic, but they cannot be certified organic [in NY until then].”

The estate Noiret is grown organically in their vineyards. This hybrid grape was developed by Cornell Research Foundation, Inc. and named in July 2006. It is a cross of NY33277 x Chancellor x Steuben which produces a deep red color wine with pronounced cherry and berry fruit aromas. Due to its vigorous growth and susceptibility to black rot, and its propensity for low productivity, Karen and Frank consider it the most difficult grape they grow. But let me tell you, it is a success. The wine is a dark purple with big fruit flavors up front, including plum, cassis, and prune. Hints of vanilla too. Well balanced acidity and soft tannins make it very drinkable. Very, very nice.