The motivation for launching Vermont’s wine industry was rather unique. The first winery opened in 1997, with a mission of “keeping land open and working.” Owners of Snow Farm Winery wanted to offer an economic alternative to farmers: to curb residential and commercial development in Vermont’s rural lands. Since then the number of farm wineries has grown to almost half a dozen. With such a young industry and even younger vines, Vermont growers and wine producers are just starting to learn exactly how good Vermont-grown wine can be. Currently, French hybrid varieties dominate, with Leon Millot, Baco Noir, Seyval Blanc, Vidal and Cayuga being popular choices. Cold-hardy clones of vinifera varieties like Riesling and Zweigelt are also in the ground, with results pending. In this northern climate growers keep a keen eye on the latest canopy management and organic farming techniques in order to increase sun exposure and to minimize mildew diseases without intensive spraying programs.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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You were born in the Finger Lakes, and bred to tough it out in the rough game of these northern vineyard