When I first started working with the grape Leon Millot, I was surprised that more people weren’t growing it. You see this wine here and there but, it is nowhere near as common as Marechal Foch. I see this wine as a almost the red grape cousin of L’Acadie Blanc.
It has great mildew resistance so it is great in any climate with high humidity. It has a short growing season, and is sometimes picked even before we harvest white grapes. For our reds, I generally harvest Leon Millot first, then Lucie Kuhlmann then Marechal Foch. I feel this short growing season is really its downfall. I feel with a white you can get away with the short time that a berry has to develop however with a red, time of the vine is critical in developing that body that wine drinkers expect. Sometimes, it just seems that Leon Millot is missing something when I am working with it. However, when all the conditions line up perfectly, it makes some outstanding wine.
For the time being, I am still experimenting with this crop. I don’t grow a huge amount of it and I only grow it at one of my two fields. Time will tell what comes out of my Leon Millot. For the time being it is still aging and waiting for its time to shine under the Newman label.