Hybrid grapes are a cross between two or more Vitis species.
Look at Seyval Blanc, It is a cross between Seibel 5656 and Seibel 4986, which unless you are a diehard horticulturalist, you likely don’t care about. Many growing areas in the world consider these varieties non noble and therefore outlaw the production of them. That decision couldn’t make me any happier as a grower. On our end it allows for the production of unique and different wines.
One of the wines that we make is that we blend Chardonnay with Seyval Blanc which gives a totally unique experience to many wine drinkers. Seyval is a light and crisp wine while the Chardonnay is more round with a bit of body. We like to think of this blend as a lighter Chardonnay and we very often hear that our customers don’t normally like Chardonnay’s but, they like this wine. I contribute the success of that wine to the Seyval which gives the wine a completely unique feel. These unique blends of wines are a main reason why I support the growth of hybrids.
Food products are so trendy in this modern day I find. You see this in restaurants that are completely trying to come up with new dishes to keep the menu fresh. Food products or specifically wine in this instance are no different. Winemakers are continually trying to innovate to give tasters a different mouth feel. They will play with the amount of skin contact on a red or their pressing pressure on the juice of a white. Blending with grapes has been a common practice for as long as wine has been made. Blending with hybrids just allows for more experimentation on the end of a winemaker.
It doesn’t matter what practice an innovator is in, in order for them to innovate we need to do our best to lower the amount of barriers. If our winemakers are forced to make grapes with only certain wines, this greatly limits their potential to come up with new ideas. That is why I like making wine in areas that don’t have these restrictions. Let the people be the true judge of the quality of the wine. They are the ones that are paying for the wine.
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