I was wandering around an exhibit, talking to some friends, when I felt my cellular phone vibrate in my sport coat pocket. I looked at the message blurb, as to whether I should open up the message and saw that it was from a friend and there was a photo of a wine label. The message said “what can you tell me about this wine.”
I excused myself from my friends and the exhibit for a minute to study the label better, with out any outside interference. I responded to my friend “A very esoteric grape variety for cold climates, not usually seen.” I then got a message “Any value. This bottle belongs to a friend of mine. Obviously very old. Its been kept laid on its side. The label came off” (sic). I responded “I do not think it is drinkable. I will do some research.” I then received this reply “Fair enough. I will let him know.” To which I replied “Good for an article perhaps.”
Most phone messages that I get concerning wines, usually are concerned with which wine would go best with this meal, at a restaurant, and they will give me several choices in (what I presume to be) in a comfortable price range. This message did intrigue me, and I did decide to see, if my quick response was proper.
Seyval Blanc or Seyve-Villard hybrid number 5276 is a grape varietal that was developed for the vines to ripen early, for fairly cool climates. It is found in England, the East Coast of the United States, specifically the Finger Lakes of New York, also to a lesser degree in Virginia and parts of Canada. It contains some non-viniferous genes, so it has been outlawed by the European Union, which has caused conflict in England, where the marketers have started calling it “Save All Blanc.”
I did do some more reading, and discovered that the wine is crisp, though thin, and better suited for early consumption, as opposed to laying it away in a cellar for later use. I also found that some other states are also attempting to grow this wine, as well, and that some are using it to blend with other varietals. While I was doing some research, just because it is fun, and informative, I found an advertisement from the Great Western Winery from 1979 for Seyval Blanc. I went to the winery’s web page, but I could not deduce for certain if this varietal is still be grown by them. I have to admit, I enjoyed this bit of research, and I was glad that my initial thoughts were right, or perhaps I should call them educated guesses.