Illinois breeders working on native wine grape varieties for cold climates
on 18/10/10 at 10:37 amWine
Northern Illinois may not — quite — be the area most wine-lovers think of when they contemplate a nice glass of Merlot. But breeders at the St. Charles Horticulture Research Center in Urbana are busily crossing native grape types with well-known wine varieties to create cold-weather, Illinois-adapted species.
There are in fact already lots of vineyards in Illinois, 90 of them, and 1,500 acres planted in wine grapes. That’s a bit smaller than California’s 531,000 acres, but the folks in Urbana are thinking big.