Seyval Blanc leads way for new NY designation

One of my favorite wines from New York's Hudson Valley is a Seyval Blanc from Clinton Vineyards in Dutchess County.

Obviously, Clinton Vineyards co-owners Phyllis and Ben Feder and other members of the Hudson Valley Wine & Grape Association feel strongly about the grape as well. So much so, in fact, that the group has selected Seyval Blanc (shown at right) as the primary grape for wines that will qualify for the new "Hudson Heritage White" designation, with Vignoles, Vidal or Cayuga White allowed for blending.

Seyval Blanc grapes have a long reputation as a good cool-climate fruit. The French-American hybrid is the second most planted vine in England, behind Müller-Thurgau. In the U.S., the regional appellations producing the most Seyval Blanc wines are the Hudson River and the Finger Lakes in New York, and the state appellations producing the most are New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Illinois, Maryland and Virginia.

The grape is an early ripener, usually mid- to late September. It is highly susceptible to botrytis bunch rot.

Seyval Blanc wine is a pale yellow color, with a light but fragrant nose, usually with hints of lemon, pineapple and a bit of acidic apple on the finish.

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