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Varietal Character

You are all part of a band of Native and French-Americans that could easily be called the ‘Polar Bear Gang’. Born in Minnesota, you've been bred to be tough and hardy. Your parents were imprisoned in labs for so long that they go by their identification numbers rather than names. People of the northern states are glad that you now control the flow of wine. In the frigid northern winters, weak-limbed vines all too often never deliver.

Appellations Growing Frontenac Grapes

Appellations producing the most Frontenac wines:

Frontenac Grape Details


Frontenac’s overall viticultural performance and excellent wine quality are directly responsible for its success in Minnesota, where more of its vines are growing than any other variety. This recently released red wine grape from the University of Minnesota is a cross of French-America hybrid Landot 4511 and native American Vitis ripara. The vine’s chief advantage is its extremely vigorous and productive nature. The vine is extremely cold hardy, at least to -30 F (approx. -34 C) and has adapted well to the inhospitable winters of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Frontenac is also very resistant to disease, with good resistance to Powdery Mildew and Botrytis bunch rot, and almost complete immunity to Downy Mildew. High sugar levels, along with high acidity, are typical at harvest. Malolactic fermentation is vital to lessen the wine’s acidity. Wines have been described as being deeply colored, with a pleasing cherry aroma, and plum and berry often evident.

Feature In

Best-of-Appellation Wine List

See the Frontenac wines that have been advanced to Best-of-Appellation™ standing for their respective regions.

Featured Frontenac

Crown Valley Winery 2004 Frontenac, Estate (Ozark Mountain)
Pleasant aromas of cherry, dark berry, and plum. Fresh acidity, and fruit flavors that carry through the finish.
buy wine $9.00