We did just order more grape vines to plant this fall: some Vidal Blanc vines to replace those that did not grow last year, and more importantly 200+ Chardonel grape vines.
Chardonel is a cross between the popular French American hybrid Seyval and the classic vinifera Chardonnay. The initial cross was made in 1953 and the plant was first propagated in 1960 as NY 45010 by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at Cornell University. In 1992 Plant Patent 7860 was issued and the variety was named – making it the fourth wine grape cultivar to be named by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.
Chardonel is similar to Chardonnay, but the vines are much hardier – which is important considering we are located in southern Pennsylvania. Chardonel grapes can produce a dry, full-bodied superior white wine with hints of melon and citrus. Wines can be fermented and aged in stainless steel to produce fruit forward wines, or they can be barrel fermented. We shall see in 3 years or so how it turns out!