Scientists invite wine lovers to ‘name that grape’
NEW YORK, Aug 7 — Grape breeders from Cornell University in New York are appealing for the public’s help in naming two new wine grape varieties that will be released next year.
Now, their cold-hardy white wine grape and organic dark red go by the “uninspiring” clinical names of NY76.0844.24 and NY95.0301.01, respectively.
In a campaign meant to engage the public through social media, grape breeder Bruce Reisch is hoping to christen the new grapes with more poetic names — monikers that evoke the unique characteristics of each grape and can be easily remembered, he said.
So far, submissions for the disease-resistant red grape, for instance, include armour themes, while the winter hardy white wine grape has inspired suggestions of Cornell alumni hockey hall-of-famers. Suggestions have come from as far as Australia to Scandinavia.
The dark red grape was first developed in 1994 as an organic variety and is said to have good resistance to downy and powdery mildews. The grape has a hint of blueberry flavour on the palate.
The white wine grape was created in 1976 and is distinctive for its winter hardiness and productivity. Reisch says the wine from “NY76.0844.24” has characteristics reminiscent of a Gewürztraminer or a citrusy Muscat.
How to ‘name that wine’
Some of the things to bear in mind when brainstorming ideas and vying for bragging rights at naming a grape? The moniker must be unique from the other 7,000 grape varieties, marketable, easy to pronounce, and conjure positive connotations, Reisch points out.
New varieties that have come out of Cornell include the Noiret, Geneva Red and the Cayuga White, created in 1972 and which now accounts for US$20 million (RM60.7 million) of wine production in New York annually. The university has released 56 cultivars since 1888.
The deadline for submissions — to be sent to Reisch at [email protected] — was August 6. Depending on where you are in the global time zones, you might still make it. Or Reisch could consider some allowance.
The winning names will be revealed at the Viticulture 2013 conference in Rochester, New York, February 6-8.
Earlier this spring, Chilean researchers announced that they had developed an entirely new grape strain called the “Iniagrape-one”, a deep blue, almost black, variety with a firm skin and medium crispness. — AFP/Relaxnews