Thursday, August 15, 2013

Missouri's Vignoles

A couple of summers ago, while sidled up to a tasting bar in Oregon's Willamette Valley, I met an older gentleman who taught viticulture at a small university in the upper Midwest. Doug and I were talking about the earnestness of some of the Oregon wineries we had visited that week, and vaguely lamenting how commercial the valley had become in recent years. Yes, it was sort of a "we were drinking Oregon pinot noir in the early 90s" conversation along the lines of "I was listening to Big Star in the 70s." Undoubtedly, I started a sentence with "in Missouri....," which made the professor's ears perk up.

"Pardon my interruption," he began, and started a love song to Missouri Vignoles. I don't drink whites, and I don't collect whites. I barely even taste whites, but I can tell from the tastes that have been somewhat forced upon me that Missouri whites are palatable. According to this professor, Missouri is making "fabulous Voignier, what they call Vignoles." All I could offer was a mild recognition that sure, as a white wine, a lot of Missouri Vignoles' are quite nice. The Wine and Grape Board officially declared August as Vignoles Month in Missouri. They've provided these interesting descriptors to entice you! If you're in the Augusta region, check out Nobleis' dry and semi-dry Vignoles for a particularly nice bottle of wine.

Varietal Descriptors Looks like: sunshine Smells like: fresh cut, tropical fruit Tastes like: an assortment of citrus, floral and tropical flavors Feels like: light and soft Pairs well with: fresh fruit and spicy dishes Varietal Facts 261 bearing acres (2011) 13% of the grapes grown in Missouri are Vignoles (2011) French-American Hybrid Grape STYLE: Sweet, Semi, and Dry

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