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High latitude wines

Surprised there wasn’t a dormant thread (that I could find and resurrect) about the northern creep of extreme winemaking due to novel varieties, climate change and more enlightened winemaking.

Anyway, for a brief moment a few years ago I was able to claim visiting the most northerly (commercial wine-from- grape) producer in the world which was Goran Blaxsta’s vineyard and winery in Flen, Sweden at 58.9 degrees north, but imminently there will be a new champion - Slinde Vingard in Norway at an astonishing 61.5 degrees north which is selling wine from this year. https://slindevineyard.com

They are growing and vinifying the hybrids Solaris and Leon Millot.

Strange Days…

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It’s relatively easy to grow vines and make wine. What is really difficult is selling them.
Wine lovers tend to have a bias against unknown varieties and especially hybrids.

What Slinde have to do is sell them. I see no way to buy from their website, but with only 2,700 vines I would expect the wine will be expensive.

I have drunk Solaris from two English vineyards, and it’s OK, but I wouldn’t says it’s NZ SB as Bjorn does.

I have also drunk Leon Millett; I cannot remember now that it was awful or good, probably not as bad as I feared.

Owner is chasing medals - but he doesn’t say what he was competing against in the local competitions where he won gold.

I should imagine sales will be mainly via the cellar door.

Good luck to him, he has chosen a lovely location.

I wait to read your (@PHarvey) tasting notes as surely you will be visiting soon.

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There was this Norwegian wine made as I was getting into wine. It was not cheap, and as far as I could make out its only selling point was novelty value, and the fact that the labels were based on Munch pictures, so if you had multiple vintages you had a collection that looked pretty - sort of based on Mouton Rothschild. I seem to remember it was grown not far from one of the places the artist lived.

There is an old (perhaps not so old) expression that says ‘just because you can doesn’t mean you should’, sadly forgotten in some places.

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There’s a lot of Léon Millot in Denmark; particularly in Jutland (Sjaeland tends to go more for Rondo) . In fact Europe’s most northerly wine PDO, Dons, has L-M as one of the appellation’s permitted varieties.

As a varietal wine it’s not too bad, for a hybrid anyway; it doesn’t have any labrusca DNA, instead it’s non-vinifera lineage is from riparia and rupestris . It’s not dissimilar to Baco Noir or Maréchal Foch really.

This is Léon Millot at Skaersogaard vineyard, last October’s harvest.


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I say this to my kids frequently. Sadly forgotten all too often here as well

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Yes it was located somewhere on the shores of the Vestfold, and presumably near to the Munchs Hus museum in Asgardstrand where he spent much of his adult life, but apart from your link to their archived website there seems no trace of it nowadays.

Anyone know more ?

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I really like Baco Noir, especially from Henry of Pelham. I don’t rate Maréchal Foch as even close- it’s quite different.
image

I chose Henry of Pelham Speck Family Reserve 2015 for my birthday dinner at Ruth’s Chris Toronto in 2017. And I’ve got one HoP Baco Noir in my cellar.

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@peterm
I am not sure about your proposition that it is relatively easy to grow vines and make wine. With regards to viticulture, site selection can be a tricky and complex business. Then you have to decide which varieties to plant? Which are the best rootstocks and clones to choose? Planting distances? And then pruning…spur or cane? Lots of issues to consider. If you make a mistake it will be an expensive one.
However highly some authors praise English wine my view is that there is some very poor stuff around largely because some people think they can do it and they clearly cannot. What data there is strongly points towards very poor yields in this country. I suspect because vines are not properly spaced, and lack skilled pruning.

Agree with all you say, but it ultimately comes down to whether you can sell enough of the wine that you make to have a successful commercial venture.

If you grow the wrong varieties then they won’t sell either because they come from poor grapes or don’t taste good.

I said that it was relatively easy to grow vines and make wine, and it is compared to selling wine.

I didn’t say it was easy to plant the right vines or vineyard :slight_smile:

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