Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
06.20.2013  
 

New Wine from a Lost Vine in Missouri

Westphalia Vineyards releases a wine made from "Missouri Riesling"

 
by Linda Jones McKee
 
 
missouri riesling
 
Westphalia Vineyards bottled 40 cases of Missouri Riesling.
Westphalia, Mo.—In May, Terry Neuner, owner and winemaker at Westphalia Vineyards, introduced a new wine called Renaissance. This wine was a special release not only because of the limited quantity (40 cases) but because it is made of estate-grown Missouri Riesling, which represents the “rebirth” of a grape cultivar thought possibly to be extinct. Missouri Riesling is not the vinifera variety Riesling but a native hybrid grape of riparia and labrusca heritage, which disappeared from production after Prohibition began.

Missouri is an unlikely place to grow grapes. The winters are cold with bitter winds coming across the plains; the summers are very hot and humid. In between, spring and fall frosts are often a problem. In spite of the climate, the state has been growing grapes and making wine successfully since before the Civil War. In fact, in the late 19th century Stone Hill Winery in Hermann was the second-largest winery in the entire country.

Natives and hybrids
For much of its wine history the industry in Missouri has been based on native and native hybrid grape varieties. While vinifera and both French and American hybrid grapes are now grown in parts of Missouri, the flagship red wine for the state today is Norton, a cross of aestivalis and labrusca grapes that was introduced in Virginia by Dr. D.L. Norton as “Virginia Seedling.” Another popular white wine grape in the years before Prohibition was a variety known as “Missouri Riesling,” a riparia-labrusca cross introduced by Nicholas Grein in Hermann. However, with the advent of Prohibition, the only grape variety to remain in production to any extent was Concord, which was used as a juice grape.

Neuner set out to find a source for Missouri Riesling, even though the vines were thought to be extinct, and in 2005 he located one vine at Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, N.Y. “The only reason we found it is because of Thomas Jefferson. He named Cornell University the first land-grant college, and he gave it one mission: preserve every American grape species.”

Beginning with five cuttings from the vine at Cornell, Neuner has now propagated 500 Missouri Riesling vines at his 8-acre vineyard along the Maries River outside Westphalia, Mo. According to Neuner, the Missouri Riesling vines are similar to Norton in that they appear to be quite disease resistant. “The interesting thing about Missouri Riesling grapes is that they have big, open clusters and therefore no issues with diseases. They ripen about the same time as red grapes, and last harvest we actually picked the Missouri Riesling after the Norton.”

Convincing the TTB
The grapes for Renaissance were picked in 2012 from 400 producing vines, fermented in stainless steel, and the 40 cases of wine were bottled in January. One problem Neuner had not anticipated arose when he sent in his label for approval by TTB. “Missouri Riesling” was not a recognized grape variety, and he had to convince the authorities that he was not making a Riesling in Missouri, but using a cultivar whose name happened to include a state name and another wine varietal name.

Neuner reports that the Westphalia Renaissance is “dry, but aromatic and fruity. While it’s a new experience, acceptance has been very good by our customers.” The wine can be purchased (but is not always available for tasting) at the Norton Room, the winery’s tasting room on the top floor of the Westphalia Inn at 106 E. Main St., Westphalia, Mo.

For more information, contact Neuner at terry@westphaliavineyards.com.

SHARE »
Close
LATEST READER COMMENTS
 
 
Posted on 06.21.2013 - 07:39:50 PST
 
I don't think that Thomas Jefferson's lifespan overlapped with Cornell University. Abraham Lincoln's administration passed the Morrill act which started land grant institutions like Cornell.
 
New York Viticulture
 
 

 
Posted on 06.21.2013 - 11:58:49 PST
 
From 2001 to 2004 I worked for Ferrigno Vineyards and Winery in St. James, Missouri as a vineyard and cellar hand. I know that there was a couple vines of Missouri Riesling in the vineyard there. I am not sure if these vines are healthy and producing, but might be of some interest to someone out there. The winery has sold since I last worked there and now goes by Three Squirrels Winery. I am still in touch with the original owner now and then.
 
Jesse Pender
 
 
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $627 million
5%
$8,028 million
5%
April 2014 $595 million $7,623 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $184 million
17%
$1,890 million
15%
April 2014 $157 million $1,649 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 406
34%
252
19%
April 2014 302 212
     
 
MORE » Released on 05.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • May 26
     
    Mendocino Economic Summit
     
  • May 28-29
     
    Direct2015
     
  • May 28-30
     
    WIneMaker Annual Conference
     
  • May 28-30
     
    International Chardonnay Symposium
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: $10 Wine Would Cost $40-plus Under COOL »
 
As a Napa Valley producer, we have spent 30 years building our brands in the...
Reader: Pete Przybylinski
 
Article: Be a Sustainable Wine Ambassador »
 
A great idea. All TR employees at every responsible estate should be encouraged/required to become...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
It would be nice to know that Trost Jacking and Heavy Moving is the structural...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Women for WineSense offering scholarships »
 
This is fantastic! Women in Wine Education must find ways to continue their individual pursuit...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
Very Interesting, I'm so glad the building is successfully being saved.
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Epicure By Jcb Manager
 Yountville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Retail Sales
 Sonoma, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Marketing & Social Med...
 Sonoma, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Market Manager
 Various, NA
Sales and Marketing
 Region Sales Manager-M...
 Minneapolis, MN
Sales and Marketing
 Chain Account Speciali...
 Seattle, WA
Sales and Marketing
 Area Sales Manager In ...
 Atlanta, GA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative
 Manhattan, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Area Sales Manager-S.N...
 Cherry Hill, NJ
Sales and Marketing
 Director, Hospitality ...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.