The cellar team bottled 210 cases of 2016 American Steuben last week. This wine has nice fruity notes of watermelon and crabapple with a touch of cinnamon on the finish.

American Steuben is made entirely from Steuben grapes. Steuben is a “sport” or randomly occurring natural cross in a Vitis labrusca vineyard. Native to New England, Vitis labrusca grape varieties including Steuben are grown from Nova Scotia to Florida and westward to the Mississippi River. They are marginal in Iowa because they are a late harvest grape in our climate. Furthermore, in some years, Steuben will continue to grow vigorously in the fall after other grape varieties have shut down and gone dormant. Steuben vines get damaged by the first frost and frequently don’t produce in the following year. In spite of the challenges of growing this variety, our customers really like the flavors in the juice. Steuben is a nice food pairing wine especially with spicy foods such as Mexican and Oriental stir fries.

Next week, we will bottle Oskyfizzante® Cranberry.