The red grape variety (also Minnesota 1047) is a complex interspecific new variety between Landot 4511(Landot Noir) x Riparia 89, containing genes from Vitis aestivalis, Vitis berlandieri, Vitis cinerea, Vitis labrusca, Vitis lincecumii, Vitis riparia, Vitis rupestris and Vitis vinifera. The crossing of the hybrids was done by Peter Hemstad and James Luby in 1978 at the University of Minnesota. He had found the sire strain at Jordan in Minnesota. The plant variety protection was granted in 1996. Two color mutations are the white-berry Frontenac Gris discovered in 1992 and the reddish-berry Frontenac Blanc discovered in 2005.
The medium to late ripening vine is generally resistant to vine diseases, but above all downy mildew and extremely frost hardy down to minus 34 °Celsius. It yields red wines full of character and acidity with aromas of blackcurrants, cherries and plums without foxton. These are used for the production of red and rosé wines as well as fortified wines in port style. The variety is cultivated in the USA in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Nevada on a total of 135 hectares of vineyards. And the Frontenac Gris variety occupies 59 hectares in Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota (Kym Anderson).
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)