Cultivar Development

Neat vineyard canopy

The University of Minnesota has released 6 cultivars specifically bred for use in the wine industry. Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, La Crescent, Marquette, and Itasca. Itasca, a white wine grape became the newest in 2017. Frontenac blanc, another color mutation identified by growers of Frontenac has also become widely planted. General information on these cultivars and others developed at UMN can be found here

For growing recommendations on UMN cultivars, please use these PDF fact sheets:

The fruit breeding project, which has included grapes for over 100 years, split into two research areas in 2015. With support from the state legislature and leadership through CFANS, a Grape Breeding and Enology research focus separate from fruit breeding was developed in the Department of Horticultural Science. Read more about the history of the fruit breeding project and the Horticultural Research Center.