“You merely adopted the cold, I was born in it, molded by it.” If St. Croix could speak this is what the vine would probably say to us. St. Croix was one of many vines bred by Elmer Swenson and was released in 1982 to the public. This new world vine was hybridized at the University of Minnesota to be cold hardy to -30 below zero making it one of the toughest vines on the planet. It’s really a cool grape, no pun intended. Once fermented, St. Croix has a pronounced smokey character, reminiscent of the great Rhone reds, which is pretty unique in the wine world. On top of this it has some serious pigment. One of the big gripes consumers have over New York reds are the lack of deep color which is closely associated to consumers perception of high quality. Now for the record, we do not believe this correlation to be a sound observation. Nonetheless, St. Croix meets that standard set for us by the public.
Serendipity found both Don Tones at Clearview Farms up in Branchport and Bully Hill looking at St. Croix as a viable cold hardy red varietal for commercial production. This lead to our first vintage being released in 2009. Due to the immense success of the wine, Bully Hill planted estate St. Croix in 2013 and in a couple years should be mature enough to turn into fine wine.