Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

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Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Mon Oct 02, 2006 3:46 pm

A local grower planted some, has a good crop, and a local winery made wine from it that is not bad at all! But info on the grape is so scarce, the winery is reluctant to market it, because they really are not sure what it is. Information, what they have, anyway, is here:

http://www.gaspereauwine.com/wine-selection.html

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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Howie Hart » Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:41 pm

I've never heard of it but did find the following. From the Winegrape Glossary link on the WLDG Front Page:

CASTEL:
French-American hybrid cultivar grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Recommended as suitable for Wine or Juice use. Ripens early to mid-season. No other details available as yet.

A google search found the following note:

Super-early ripening varieties
Castel 19637
Vitis rupestris x Oeillade. This old French-American hybrid keeps popping up on my trips to Europe. The best red wine I tasted in Denmark during my 1998 trip was produced from this variety. I tasted Castel 19637 in the Geilweilerhof collection on 27 August with the sugar content ranging from 19-21 oBrix. The clusters were beautiful. The juice was deep red in color.
There was no Powdery Mildew and only one tiny spot of Downy Mildew on one leaf. The Danes are on to something here. Castel should be used in breeding early ripening, high quality red wine varieties.

The above is from the following link:
http://www.northernwinework.com/images/ ... 0hybrid%22
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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Mon Oct 02, 2006 4:46 pm

Cool. I am wondering why Google did not return that site for me.... maybe it was having an off day?

The wine is reportedly pretty good, and the colour, for sure is RED, and stains teeth and tongue quite well. I have one bottle in my cellar. Maybe soon it will get opened.

Might be a good one for you home winemakers to try, given the early ripening nature of the stuff. In Denmark, you say, wow that's WAY north of you!

PS. In case you were not aware, we are about to see the start of what appears to be a significant sparkling wine industry here in NS. Much of the wine will be from L'Acadie Blanc, which, if you have not tried wine made form this grape, you will be amazed. The Nova Scotia industry is making it into a wine that is very much like Chablis. But the sparkling investment is big.
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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Paul B. » Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:57 pm

Well I'm coming into this thread a bit late, but finding this a fascinating topic. Castel - I had never heard of it until this moment. Actually, chances are that I did come across its entry in the Glossary, but it got lost amid the hundreds of grape entries that I have read over the years.

The pigmentation sounds like that of most rupestris hybrids. Certainly the complex French hybrids that we all know have massive pigmentation, and this is one of the reasons I so love them. It is extremely rare to find a well-made hybrid red with anemic colour; most of the wines have great saturation.

Acadie Blanc - it is a travesty that we get absolutely NO Nova Scotian wines in Ontario. Clearly there is a huge knowledge gap at Vintages because all they've ever seen fit to feature from Down East have been berry wines, some of which were truly horrid. Why can't some of the fine Millots, New York Muscats and Acadie Blanc sparklers make it to Ontario? Damn bureaucratic politics.
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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:02 am

Don't forget Lucie Kuhlmann!

http://wine.appellationamerica.com/grape-varietal/Lucie-Kuhlmann.html

I have her on the list at the restaurant I help out with wines. Takes the place of Chianti with ease.

http://www.janesonthecommon.com/

And our Marechal Foch, Ortega Icewine, Cayuga, and Mischerniwitz wines would shock you with how good they are to drink.

But seriously? We have told the VQA to go get stuffed (they seem to be too stuffy anyway) and have established our own quality assurance organization that actually recognizes that terroir is at least as, if not more important that the variety of the grape, as long as the wine is good.

No more forcing plants from another climate zone to underperform in an inhospitable climate. Learn to make good (and sometimes, great) wines from the plants that are happy here.

Yes, we have small microclimates that show potential to make great Burgundian Pinot Noir, but Acadie Blanc and Leon Millot, Luci Kuhlmann, Foch and, yes, maybe Castel can make very good wines.

Acadie Blanc ages well for over 10 years. With the right touch of wood, it is as good as pretty well any Chardonnay. Period. Ask any honest wine writer who has been here and been served the good ones. They all say the same thing. The dishonest, or lazy writers never come here, and write (or copy over) only what they know, which is usually nothing, about Nova Scotia wines. But check out how much space is given to Nova Scotia in Tony Aspler's new book.

Hey, I had a great Virginian Viognier the other day. As good as any I've had. Look out California!

Good wine can be made anywhere you can get a grape to ripen. It just takes time to learn the terroir enough to match winemaking to suit the product of the land. And time, in this case is truly measured in years, one vintage at a time.

Jumping off the soapbox....

Jeff
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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Bob Parsons Alberta » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:03 am

Right on Paul B. Good rant!!! Hope you feel better now.
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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Paul B. » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:16 am

Jeff in Halifax wrote:No more forcing plants from another climate zone to underperform in an inhospitable climate. Learn to make good (and sometimes, great) wines from the plants that are happy here.

Jeff, that is exactly what I believe. It is great to see others saying the same things. Of course I have long admired the respect and support that you give to your home-grown wines.

Frankly, I don't much care what the stuffy bureaucrats at Vintages or the VQA association think - the problem would be nil if it weren't illegal to obtain wines from out-of-province!! That is the utterly ridiculous thing in this day and age. Grown people living in any province should be able to legally order wines from any winery in any part of the country and, having paid whatever taxes might be applicable, have said wines shipped to them. It seems so simple and civilized, and yet ...
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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Jeff in Halifax » Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:33 am

Hey, BC wineries ship to us here all the time.

The better the wine, the less the shipping cost as a percentage of the wine cost. :wink:
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Re: Castel - the Grape - anyone know anything about this one?

Postby Paul B. » Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:59 am

Then I need to inquire into whether NS wineries can ship to Ontario. Maybe it's some kind of reciprocity issue?

I have to say that I just don't know enough about the technicalities involved - except to say that interprovincial wine commerce must be liberalized. We're a grown-up country and don't need Prohibition-era nanny rules.
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