Marquette is a fabulous grape variety that we grow here at Liberty Vineyards. It is a hybrid grape that was bred at the University of Minnesota and is a “grandchild of Pinot Noir”. It makes a wine that is silky with some nice spice and cherry notes. We use Marquette grapes for our Marquette wine and also as the base for Chocolette, our Chocolate flavored dessert wine.
I took a photo of the beautiful Marquette grape clusters a couple of weeks before harvest (see above).
We harvested our Marquette grapes by hand last week–this allows us to be selective with the grapes that end up in the wine. The grapes were then crushed and destemmed. The juice and skins were put into vessels and yeast was added to allow the juice to ferment “on the skins.” We ferment our red wines on the skins to extract color, flavors and tannins. As the wine ferments, carbon dioxide created by fermentation pushes the skins to the top and creates a “cap” that must be punched down frequently to maintain contact between the juice/wine and the grape skins.
Once the grapes have fermented on the skins, it is time to press them and get that wine into the tanks or barrels.
This morning, we pressed the Marquette. Click here for short video of pressing is available on our Facebook page.
Yum! Can’t wait to try the 2013 Marquette and Chocolette wines when they are ready sometime next year!