Frontenac Grape
Michigan U-Pick Grapes

A Blue-Black Wine Grape
Similar Varieties: Dechaunac, Foch, Baco Noir

Frontenac red wine grape
red-grape2-s  Ripens mid September  --  A new hardy red wine variety from Minnessota- very popular with winemakers, has a slight "cherry" overtone.


redwine-icon  Usage Notes  --  Frontenac make a very nice stable red wine.  It usually has slightly higher acidity and will benefit with malolactic cultures added. 

Click here for Frontenac winemaking info .....



grapeharvest-icon Harvest Notes:


Ripening Information for our 5th WEEKEND - Oct 2, 3 & 4, 2015

2 severly cold winters have damaged the Frontenac andf they have been picked out.

Click here for a ripening summary and grape prices for the whole vineyard .....



red-grape2-s Variety Info  --   More vines of Frontenac are growing in MN than of any other variety, due to overall viticultural performance and excellent wine quality.

Frontenac is a very cold-hardy vine and has borne a full crop after temperatures as low as -30° F. The small black berries are produced on medium to large clusters that are usually slightly loose. As a result, berry splitting and bunch rot have been rare, even in wet years. Frontenac has been a consistently heavy producer and sometimes requires cluster thinning. Frontenac is vigorous and usually becomes established quickly.

Frontenac ripens in late midseason, and it is important to let the fruit hang long enough to fully mature, to reduce the acidity to workable levels. This is less of a problem when Frontenac is grown further south, under warmer conditions.

Fortunately, the pH does not often rise to dangerous levels. Frontenac is a good sugar producer with 24-25 Brix not uncommon.

Frontenac wine typically has a pleasant cherry aroma with berry and plum evident in many cases. The herbaceousness of its wild riparia background is almost entirely absent.

The color is usually a garnet red, but can become excessively dark with long periods of skin time. Malolactic fermentation is essential to reduce the wine’s high acidity. Tannin levels are usually relatively low.

Frontenac is very disease-resistant, with good resistance to powdery mildew and near-immunity to downy.



questionmark-tiny2  Where are the Frontenac vines located in the vineyard?

Rows 73 to 77

Each row has about 50 vines.

Frontenac in one of the more recent plantings in our vineyard and it is becoming established quite well.

Rows 73 to 75 were planted in 2004 and rows 76 & 77 were planted in 2007.

The Frontenac rows are trained to a "Geneva Double Curtain" trellis, which means there are 2 top wires 4 feet apart (like utility poles) This gives the vines more room to grow.





Click here for larger image...



redwineglass-tiny2-s    Where can I Purchase Frontenac Wine?

Frontenac is often used in commercial red blends.

"Simply Red" from St. Julien Winery in Michigan is a typical red blend of this style.

Red blends can be usually purchased in Michigan from local wine shops and grocery stores.


Please visit our Winery Locator Page to find wineries which make this kind of wine....


Frontenac red wine grape


Grape and Winemaking Quicklinks
Please make any Comment or Question you desire and join in our conversation about this page or anything - Grapes or Winemaking!
(View all the Talk Around the Winebarrel Comments here...)

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Latest Blog News


How is our vineyard different than others?

I do not know any other vineyard that has more than 20 varieties of grapes and sells 100% U-PICK!

Since we are not a winery we do not keep the premium grapes for ourselves and sell what is left to local customers.

YOU are our only customers!

What is your favorite grape?

We get this asked of us all the time. Which grape makes the best wine, best jelly, best juice, etc. This is very difficult to answer & also varies from season to season. Many of our customers have very different tastes than we do.
My personal favorites as of April, 2007:


What do grape blossoms smell like?

Walking through the vineyard when it is in full bloom is a unique experience. The scent is slightly more subtle than other fruits. Each flower blossom will develop into a separate berry...

Do grapes need a frost to ripen?

Absolutely not. There are early and late season varieties, an early season grape left on the vine until frost will be mushy and overripe.
Once a frost hits the vine and all the leaves are burned off, any further photosynthesis or ripening will cease...


How much honey does a honeybee produce in a year?

Although a colony of honeybees (40,000 or more in the summer) can easily produce over a hundred pounds of honey, a single honeybee produces only about a teaspoon full in her life.

Beeswax Pillars

Our beeswax is from our own Michigan honeybees and other local beekeepers.

The honeybees make the wax from the nectar of clovers, thistles and other wildflowers native to our area. The wax is not filtered, only lightly strained.

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