Tongue River Winery
White Grape Wine
La Crescent: a semi-sweet muscat style wine. Gold at NW Wine Summit and Mid-American Wine, 2014; Silver at Finger Lakes International, 2014! Listed in Winter 2014 American Wine Society's WINE JOURNAL in the article "21 Wines to Watch"! (p 24-25) 21 WINES. Of the 100s of 1000s of wines in the world, it's quite an honor to be included in an article like this!
In the Vineyard: La Crescent is almost hardy enough for a good crop each year in our area. It produces well, is easy to manage. It can, however, begin to shatter (drop grapes) if allowed to hang too long.
In the Winery: Like most winemakers, we finish La Crescent in a semi-sweet style to bring out the apricot finish. On a cool year like 2013, more citrus/grapefruit remains on the palate.
In Short: La Crescent is one of our most popular wines with muscat (moscato) genes in its heritage. Pairs well with fruity green salads, spicy meals or a good friend and conversation.
Frontenac Gris: Dry, oaky chardonnay-like wine.
In the Vineyard: All three of the Frontenacs grow like weeds for us! Hardy to approx. -40° F, Mother Nature is NOT going to kill this vine with cold. Vines are very orderly, delightful to grow.
We trellis them both high cordon and vertical shoot positioned and like them both ways.
In the Winery: Very few wineries use this for a dry wine. But we barrel ferment it for a week to give it some wood, malolactic ferment it to bring out a bit of butter and leave it bone dry.
In Short: A great wine with chicken, turkey, or any time you'd use Chardonnay. Bronze, 2013 NW Wine Summit.
Frongria: Sweet, tropical dessert wine
In the Vineyard: Frongria is made with Frontenac Gris, harvested as late as possible.
In the Winery: This is the alter ego of Frontenac Gris. Here the Gris is kept away from oak and Malo, fermented cold in steel to preserve as much aroma and
fruit-forward character as possible. Loads of grapefruit, pineapple, banana and mango notes are apparent to the nose and palate.
In short: Like dessert? If you like these fruit flavors, you'll love sipping this wine! Silver 2013 Finger Lakes International, Bronze NW Wine Summit, 2013.
Perfect Kiss: semi-sweet white wine
In the Vineyard: This wine is made with a motley assortment of grapes we don't have enough of for any varietal wine. All hybrid grapes from the northern breeders. We pick it a bit early to keep the flavor simple.
In the Winery: The blended grapes develop a crisp finish with notes of butterscotch and a pleasing aroma. Cold fermented in steel.
In Short: Great with chicken and turkey. Lovely simply chilled and sipped. The label shows Marilyn kissing Swenson red grapes. Bronze at NW Wine Summit, 2013.
Cold Front: Semi-sweet white. What do you do when you cannot grow Riesling but want that crisp, simple German flavor? Grow Frontenac blanc!
In the Vineyard: Front blanc grows like the other two Frontenacs: bold, aggressive, productive except that the fruit is a pale yellow-white color. Very hardy.
In the Winery: Cold Front is fermented cold with yeast that favors Riesling flavor and aroma. We like it dry, but find most people enjoy it best in the semi-sweet range.
In Short: We've found our Riesling substitute and in 2013 are probably only the second US winery to use this very new grape variety.
White V: Semi-sweet light-bodied concord style wine
In the Vineyard: We make our White V from either the valiant or King of the North grapes. They are both exceedingly hardy and productive. These are grapes with Vitis labrusca in their background and have a pleasant Concord flavor.
In the Winery: We don't like a strong concord flavor in wine. Great for jelly and juice, but go light, please in wine. Thus we press these grapes immediately to reduce the flavor and color, and present it at 2% sugar, mild acid and very light body. It's like White Zin with a concord finish!
In short: Wines like this don't have enough character to offend anybody! But they don't have to. They are meant to be light, fruity and drinkable by almost anybody. A great summer wine on a hot day, particularly nice blended with sparkling clear sodas. Careful...it goes down easy. Silver at NW Wine Summit, Hood River, OR, 2013.
COMING SOON: Brianna, a lovely, barely sweet wine with hints of pineapple, melon and banana.