Sorry for the slight delay in uploading this episode, as I am editing several new recordings. Hopefully, there will not be any additional delays. Onward!
Our focus for Episode 21 is Missouri, which has a very long history and pedigree of winemaking here in the United States. It also has one of the largest viticultural industries in the Midwestern US, with roughly 1,600 acres under vine and around 400 wineries, producing approximately 971,031 gallons of wine. Missouri is also home to the oldest AVA in the United States, the Augusta AVA, which gained its federal status on June 20, 1980–eight months before Napa Valley. The state of Missouri also has the Herrmann AVA, and the Ozark Highlands AVA. All three of these AVAs are enclosed within the greater Ozark Mountain American Viticultural Area, which is actually the sixth largest American Viticultural Area in total size, covering 3,520,000 acres. In short, wine in Missouri is big business and is one of the few states outside of California to actively focus on marketing its wines to the public and for tourism.
While perhaps leading the market in terms of vintages produced by the Norton Grape, Missouri is also the home of a lot of viticultural experimentation, which eventually lead to the bottle Tiffany Poth (the Wine Hippie) and I drink in this podcast: the 2015 Crimson Cabernet from Lachance vineyards in DeSoto, Missouri. (Possibly within the Augusta AVA, though my geography of American Viticultural Areas in the Midwest is lacking) Crimson Cabernet is a new varietal; a hybrid cross between Norton (Vitus aestivalis*) and Cabernet Sauvignon (Vitus vinifera) that seems to be taking the Midwestern United States by storm. I had never even heard of this varietal before Tiffany brought this bottle to me to drink, so this was a fun wine to try.
(This cross between Norton and Cabernet Sauvignon also produced a white grape, Cabernet Dore, which may be the focus of a future podcast, or maybe bonus episode once I create a Patreon for this podcast.)
*Probably. As we talked about a bit in our first episode, the genetic origins of Norton are a bit mysterious.
As mentioned above, my friend and fellow wine geek, Tiffany Poth, brought this bottle for me after acquiring it directly from La Chance vineyard. Next week, Gary returns and we catch a little bit of sun.