Cabernet Franc

Fine wines in horse-and-buggy Lancaster County

Fine wines in horse-and-buggy Lancaster County

While you're as likely to get stuck behind a horse-drawn buggy as a tractor on Lancaster County's rural roads, the region is more than straw-hat and gray-bonnet country these days. Historic dairy and row crop farming is giving way to vineyards and hop yards as farm wineries and craft breweries pop up in Pennsylvania Dutch country. Traditionally, this has been a region of fruit winemaking, followed at the end of the 20th century by a reliance on French-American hybrid grapes. Slowly but surely, wineries focused on traditional European wine grapes have begun to prove that Lancaster County is fertile soil indeed for well-made classic wines. In the quest to look at the future of Pennsylvania winemaking, I was able to visit a pair of very...Read More

Château des Charmes: French connection pioneers

vqaontario.ca We couldn't visit the Niagara wine country without paying homage to Château des Charmes (fromtheboscfamily.com/chateau-des-charmes). In 1978, founder Paul-Michel Bosc planted the first all-vinifera commercial vineyard in the region. He was determined to prove that the grapes of Burgundy and Bordeaux could flourish in cold-climate Niagara. Bosc represents the fifth generation of family winemakers. Raised in Algeria, he earned a degree in viticulture and oenology from the University of Burgundy. After evacuation to France at the end of the Algerian war in the 1960s, he took his young family to Canada. Unlike some Niagara pioneer wineries, Château des Charmes remains a family operation. It has expanded to four vineyards covering 280 acres (110 ha). They lie in the Four Mile Creek and St. David's...Read More