Home Farm Equipment Message in a bottle: Researchers evaluating Arkansas’ wine grapes

Message in a bottle: Researchers evaluating Arkansas’ wine grapes


In a quiet lab on the Milo J. Shult Agricultural Analysis and Extension Heart, surrounded by wine glasses, Renee Threlfall and John Clark frolicked listening — listening for the fragrant and taste notes Indulgence, Dazzle, Alternative and Enchantment wines had been enjoying on their palates.

Fruit breeder John Clark has continued the work of fruit breeding program founder James N. Moore to develop wine grapes tailored to Arkansas rising circumstances. (U of A System Division of Agriculture photograph by Fred Miller)

Clark, fruit breeder for the Arkansas Agricultural Experiment Station, developed the grapes from which the wines had been made. Threlfall, experiment station analysis scientist for enology and viticulture, made them into wines to find out how they fared by means of fermentation and the way their colour, style, aromas and mouth really feel evolve over time. Collectively, they introduced the grapes to marketplace for Arkansas vineyards and wineries.

The Agricultural Experiment Station is the analysis arm of the College of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

The wine grapes are rooted in the efforts of two distinguished professors and Arkansas natives: the late James N. Moore, founding father of the Arkansas fruit breeding program, and the late meals scientist Justin Morris, famend enologist and viticulturist. Alternative and Enchantment, the primary wine grapes developed for Arkansas’ rising circumstances, had been launched in 2016.

They had been a very long time coming. Moore made the preliminary choices in 1991 for Alternative and 1993 for Enchantment. Evaluations of wine manufacturing for these grapes has been ongoing for nearly three many years.

Clark and Threlfall labored arduous towards the patent and launch of Alternative and Enchantment, and adopted up with Dazzle and Indulgence, each white wine grapes, in 2020.

“Even though the grapes have been released, there is research ongoing about how the wine changes during storage and how different winemaking techniques impact the wine,” Threlfall mentioned. Within the April wine testing, “we evaluated the 2018-2020 Dazzle, the 2017-2020 Indulgence and Enchantment, and the 2020 Opportunity.”

“Renee has refined her winemaking to get them to express themselves,” Clark mentioned.

Wine tasting

wine-grapes_50885662976_o.jpgDazzle is a pink grape that produces a white Gerwürztraminer-type wine. (Photograph courtesy of John R. Clark)

Tasting the wines from lightest to most substantial, Threlfall mentioned she and Clark started with Alternative.

“This wine has slight tree fruit aromas and flavors like peach and pear,” she mentioned.

Wines comprised of Dazzle “have Gewürztraminer attributes, with tropical fruits and sweet spice aroma with a subtle fruity flavor and balanced finish,” Threlfall mentioned. “The aroma was stronger in the 2020 and 2019 wines than the 2018 wine.”

Indulgence wine has a distinguished Muscat — often known as Moscato in Italian wines — or candy floral aroma. Threlfall mentioned Indulgence exhibits these “especially in the more recent years with floral and fruity flavors and balanced finish.”

“What was pretty nice in our tasting is how the Muscat flavor is holding up over several years. That’s something you don’t know” when that first wine is comprised of a new grape, Clark mentioned.

Dazzle’s grapes have the proper chemistry for wine manufacturing and potential for late harvest grapes.

“Dazzle, like most white wines, is a wine that can be made and sold quickly without storing too long,” he mentioned. Whereas age is commonly related to wine, “not all wines are intended to be made to sit around and age.” White wines match into the latter class, he mentioned.

“Dazzle and Indulgence are distinctly different in flavor,” Clark mentioned. “They’re two very nice products and that’s important. Businesses need diversification of products.”

Alternative represents a extra mainstream white, he mentioned. “Dazzle has its Gewürztraminer, and Indulgence, its Muscat, but Opportunity is more in the middle of the white category, something like a Chardonnay. It’s much like the Seyval grape, a very popular French-American hybrid. Part of its appeal is that it’s a stable producer and a mainstream wine.”

In contrast, Enchantment, the one pink wine grape from this system, produces a wine that has an intense darkish purple colour and wealthy flavors.

Enchantment “is a powerhouse of a wine with smoky, dark berry aromas and flavors with vegetative, peppery and smoky notes,” Threlfall mentioned. “We also evaluated this wine with tannins and oak added, finding that this elevated the aroma and flavor of the wine.”

Extra work to be finished

Even with tastings of wines from all 4 grapes, there may be extra work to be finished, she mentioned. “John and I look forward to showcasing these wines at the Arkansas Association of Grape Growers Conferences in November and other workshops and conferences in the region.”

“The evaluations of the winemaking styles will continue with the 2021 harvest, so luckily there is more wine tasting in our future,” Threlfall mentioned.

Clark added to the ambiance throughout the tasting. An achieved composer and guitarist, Clark accompanied the tasting by enjoying components of his new themes for Dazzle and Indulgence. Through the years, Clark has composed the music for training movies about new fruit varieties. These movies might be discovered https://www.youtube.com/user/TheAAES.

Particular person fruit playlists might be discovered right here:

Comply with the Division of Ag on Twitter at @AgInArk, @uaex_edu or @ArkAgResearch. Discover 4-H info at this hyperlink: https://4h.uaex.edu/.

Supply: U of A System Division of Agriculture, which is solely accountable for the data supplied and is wholly owned by the supply. Informa Enterprise Media and all its subsidiaries usually are not accountable for any of the content material contained in this info asset.


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