TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

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TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#1 Post by TomHill »

Tried these three whilst I was back in KansasCity last week:
1. StonePillar Favorita Kansas WW (Vintner's Collection; Vermentino; www.StonePillarVineyard.com; 10.5%) Olathe/KS NV: Very light/near colorless color; light grapey/vaguely Favorita light earthy very bland nose; soft off-dry (1%-1.5% r.s.?) bland/vapid/watery lightly Vermentino/grapey flavor; short watery/vapid/bland lightly grapey/Favorita bit earthy finish; an incredibly bland/vapid dull as dishwater white. $16.00 (Lukas)
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2. StonePillar Hofftoberfest Kansas WW (11%; semi-sweet blend of American hybrid grapes) Olathe/KS: Pale/near colorless color; rather coarse/grapey/musky/hybridy rather earthy bit more interesting nose; soft/underacid fairly sweet (2%-4% r.s.?) very grapey/hybridy/floral/earthy almost Isabella-like rather simple flavor; med.long grapey/hybridy/coarse fairly sweet rather bitter finish; speaks strongly of hybrid white grapes but not as aromatic as Isabella; more like a Seyval or a Vignoles. $14.00 (Lukas)
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3. WyldeWoodCllrs Muscadine Sweet (12%; www.WyldeWoodCellars.com) Peck/Mulvane/KS NV: Light ruby/garnet color; very strong/fragrant grapey/Muscadine/Welch's grape jelly/floral rather earthy/rustic quite perfumed nose; rather tart/tangy/bit metallic intense grapey/Muscadine/Welch's grape jam/Concordy rather sweet (4%-6% r.s.?) somewhat bitter flavor w/ light tannins; very long intense grapey/Muscadine/Concordy/Welch's grape jelly rather simple fairly sweet finish w/ light bitter tannins; speaks very strongly of Muscadine but not as sweet/syrupy as VirginiaDare; a light-weight expression of Muscadine. It is what it is. $12.00 (Lukas)
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A wee BloodyPlpit:
1. When I was back in KansasCity, I was searching out a few wines I could try on my freshly-minted son-in-law. He hails from the deep-South of Northern Georgia and is familiar w/ wines from Muscadine, so I had to search this one out. When I asked the clerk at Lukas if he had any Muscadine wines, he gave me this bemused look as if to say "Why would you want something like that?". He directed me to the only one they had in stock. One shelf below, I saw a Kansas wine labeled "Favorita", which is the Piemonte designation for the Vermentino grape from nearby Liguria. That's a bizarre name for a US wine but, sure enough, they had appropriated the Piemontese name for their Vermentino. Favorita is not a US-approved grape name, but since it's only for sale in Kansas, they can get away with using that name. I tasted it w/ low expectations and it far exceeded thos expectations.
Muscadine is also a grape species known as Vitus Rotundifolia. There are something like 152 Muscadine cultivars of varying pigmentations. Most cultivars are pistillate, which means they require a pollenizer to se fruit. Muscadine is most commonly found in the South where its thick skin make them resistent to mold from the high humidity. The VirginiaDare Scuppernong is probably the most famous of the Muscadine wines. They are almost always finished quite sweet...never done see'd a dry Muscadine. It is much more commonly used for table/eating grapes and jams/jellies....probably the highest calling for Muscadine.
John liked the Muscadine quite a lot since it was a flavor & sweetness level he was accustomed to in that wine. A bit too intensely Muscadine for my taste, though.
Tom

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#2 Post by John Glas »

When will be your MN 3 boring wines? Those sound dreadful.

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#3 Post by maureen nelson »

Fascinating, Tom, thanks. I grew up near there (well 45 minutes nw of KCMO) and confess I have never tasted a Kansas wine - and now I don’t have to. Thanks for saving me from that.

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Well...

#4 Post by TomHill »

maureen nelson wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 6:12 pm Fascinating, Tom, thanks. I grew up near there (well 45 minutes nw of KCMO) and confess I have never tasted a Kansas wine - and now I don’t have to. Thanks for saving me from that.
Well, Maureen... know Kansas well. What city??
I've had some Kansas wines that were actually decent. These were not them.

So sorry to hear that you "grew up". I've avoided doing that.
Tom

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#5 Post by John Glas »

Fascinating, Tom, thanks. I grew up near there (well 45 minutes nw of KCMO) and confess I have never tasted a Kansas wine - and now I don’t have to. Thanks for saving me from that.
Kansas and MN grow some great crops of wheat and corn! MN has some awesome apples but wine no!

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#6 Post by Adam Frisch »

TomHill wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 2:40 pm A wee BloodyPlpit:
1. When I was back in KansasCity, I was searching out a few wines I could try on my freshly-minted son-in-law. He hails from the deep-South of Northern Georgia and is familiar w/ wines from Muscadine, so I had to search this one out. When I asked the clerk at Lukas if he had any Muscadine wines, he gave me this bemused look as if to say "Why would you want something like that?". He directed me to the only one they had in stock. One shelf below, I saw a Kansas wine labeled "Favorita", which is the Piemonte designation for the Vermentino grape from nearby Liguria. That's a bizarre name for a US wine but, sure enough, they had appropriated the Piemontese name for their Vermentino. Favorita is not a US-approved grape name, but since it's only for sale in Kansas, they can get away with using that name. I tasted it w/ low expectations and it far exceeded thos expectations.
Muscadine is also a grape species known as Vitus Rotundifolia. There are something like 152 Muscadine cultivars of varying pigmentations. Most cultivars are pistillate, which means they require a pollenizer to se fruit. Muscadine is most commonly found in the South where its thick skin make them resistent to mold from the high humidity. The VirginiaDare Scuppernong is probably the most famous of the Muscadine wines. They are almost always finished quite sweet...never done see'd a dry Muscadine. It is much more commonly used for table/eating grapes and jams/jellies....probably the highest calling for Muscadine.
John liked the Muscadine quite a lot since it was a flavor & sweetness level he was accustomed to in that wine. A bit too intensely Muscadine for my taste, though.
Tom
Tom, during the planning stages of my winery, I was adamant I wanted to work with native grapes, and especially Muscadine. Until I actually had a dry Muscadine. Believe it or not, from Napa. Yes, you read that right, Napa. It was not a pleasurable experience. I'm not entirely convinced you can't make a nice wine out of it, but I think you'd have to experiment a lot and find what would suit its peculiarities. It certainly would be a challenge. What it does have going for it is its plastic pool toy qualities and if you like those in Riesling, then you might find some redemption in the Scuppernong.

Funnily enough, genetically, the Muscadine grape is the furthest removed from the vinifera grape. They're like the Sequoia trees - at the end of their own genetic branch and the equivalent to dinosaurs.
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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#7 Post by Jason T »

John Glas wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 5:50 pm When will be your MN 3 boring wines? Those sound dreadful.
I’ve had a number of Minnesota wines, primarily from Four Daughters. My sister-in-law lives near there. The better wines were “not terrible” but I think the Mother’s Day brunch I had at the winery once probably exceeded the quality of the wine. Not that that’s a surprise.
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Re: Well...

#8 Post by maureen nelson »

TomHill wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 7:01 pm
maureen nelson wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 6:12 pm Fascinating, Tom, thanks. I grew up near there (well 45 minutes nw of KCMO) and confess I have never tasted a Kansas wine - and now I don’t have to. Thanks for saving me from that.
Well, Maureen... know Kansas well. What city??
I've had some Kansas wines that were actually decent. These were not them.

So sorry to hear that you "grew up". I've avoided doing that.
Tom
Tom, I “grew up” in Missouri, actually - St Josph, MO, which is in the very nw corner of MO on the Kansas line. When I was in high school KS was an “18” state and we used to drive across the river and buy beer, using my older sister’s Birth certificate as ID. We bought Coors, which was 3.2% alcohol and the most foul-tasting beverage on the planet. It convinced me that I hated beer and I didn’t drink another until I was at least 30.

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NoNoNo....

#9 Post by TomHill »

maureen nelson wrote: February 24th, 2021, 11:32 am
TomHill wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 7:01 pm
maureen nelson wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 6:12 pm Fascinating, Tom, thanks. I grew up near there (well 45 minutes nw of KCMO) and confess I have never tasted a Kansas wine - and now I don’t have to. Thanks for saving me from that.
Well, Maureen... know Kansas well. What city??
I've had some Kansas wines that were actually decent. These were not them.

So sorry to hear that you "grew up". I've avoided doing that.
Tom
Tom, I “grew up” in Missouri, actually - St Josph, MO, which is in the very nw corner of MO on the Kansas line. When I was in high school KS was an “18” state and we used to drive across the river and buy beer, using my older sister’s Birth certificate as ID. We bought Coors, which was 3.2% alcohol and the most foul-tasting beverage on the planet. It convinced me that I hated beer and I didn’t drink another until I was at least 30.
NoNoNo, Maureen.....Coors was not foul-tasting. It was just a beer that was totally devoid of flavor and one (small) step above water.
When I'm doing wine judgings, I use Coors as a palate cleanser. The highest calling I know of for Coors.

Don't know StJoe very well. More familiar w/ Leavenworth & Atchison. But had a very good friend/BB player from Wathena.
Tom

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#10 Post by Matt A »

Kansas kid here.
K-State class of 2002. Go Cats.
Great place to raise a family and we still live close to the family farm.
As far as Kansas wine goes, I have yet to have one that I didn’t dump down the drain. 🤷🏼‍♂️
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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#11 Post by Jim Stewart »

I did a double-take on that thread title! Thanks for the notes and for having an open mind and an open palate, Tom. Cheers.
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What....

#12 Post by TomHill »

Matt A wrote: February 24th, 2021, 1:22 pm Kansas kid here.
K-State class of 2002. Go Cats.
Great place to raise a family and we still live close to the family farm.
As far as Kansas wine goes, I have yet to have one that I didn’t dump down the drain. 🤷🏼‍♂️
What village, Matt?? Know Kansas very well & lots of friends there from being too many yrs at KSU ('60-'72; Nuclear Engineering & BB).
You don't find any finer folk than in Kansas.
I've had a few Kansas wines that didn't go down the drain...but I was desparate for a wine to drink. But they do need
to lift the bar on Kansas wines.
Tom

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Re: Well...

#13 Post by Mark Golodetz »

maureen nelson wrote: February 24th, 2021, 11:32 am
TomHill wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 7:01 pm
maureen nelson wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 6:12 pm Fascinating, Tom, thanks. I grew up near there (well 45 minutes nw of KCMO) and confess I have never tasted a Kansas wine - and now I don’t have to. Thanks for saving me from that.
Well, Maureen... know Kansas well. What city??
I've had some Kansas wines that were actually decent. These were not them.

So sorry to hear that you "grew up". I've avoided doing that.
Tom
Tom, I “grew up” in Missouri, actually - St Josph, MO, which is in the very nw corner of MO on the Kansas line. When I was in high school KS was an “18” state and we used to drive across the river and buy beer, using my older sister’s Birth certificate as ID. We bought Coors, which was 3.2% alcohol and the most foul-tasting beverage on the planet. It convinced me that I hated beer and I didn’t drink another until I was at least 30.
I give you Coors is pretty bad, but Natty (natural Light Beer) is even worse.

As for non beer beverages, Maotai is in a different class.
ITB

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#14 Post by Paul Miller »

I've done 3 or 4 projects in the Kansas City area. Sprint was one of my big clients. Instead of going home one weekend, my wife came to visit instead. One day we went out to Weston. If I remember correctly, there were a couple of wineries there, and most of the wines were made with local grape varieties. I've learned that if they say, "this grape only grows in this area," or "we're the only winery that makes wine using this grape," take it as a clue. But alas, I'm a sucker to try anything odd or different. All I can remember from the daytrip was the wines we tasted were dreadful.

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#15 Post by Michael Levin »

Sorry, as a fellow Kansas Citian (actually grew up in actual Kansas City) I have to jump in on this thread.

Can't speak for Kansas wines, but I'm surprised no one has jumped in on the Missouri wines. Maybe the Nortons in Missouri (Hermann) are well known enough no one felt a need to bring them up, but they are positively decent. Not sure which wineries make better ones, but lots of folks around here do a one-nighter in Herman and it's always enjoyable.

Mike

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#16 Post by Marshall Manning »

I think the worst wine I've ever had was the Fields of Fair Cherry Jubilee from Kansas that I had around 1993 or so. It was so bad I still remember it after all of these years. I figure Tom has been following them from the very start and has a vertical in his basement. [cheers.gif]
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Yup..

#17 Post by TomHill »

Michael Levin wrote: February 24th, 2021, 3:38 pm Sorry, as a fellow Kansas Citian (actually grew up in actual Kansas City) I have to jump in on this thread.

Can't speak for Kansas wines, but I'm surprised no one has jumped in on the Missouri wines. Maybe the Nortons in Missouri (Hermann) are well known enough no one felt a need to bring them up, but they are positively decent. Not sure which wineries make better ones, but lots of folks around here do a one-nighter in Herman and it's always enjoyable.

Mike
Yup, Michael.... I've been a bit more impressed by the MO wines I've had than the KS wines. The Amagoni wines from down in the West Bottoms I tried I thought were pretty decent.
I don't think it's a viticulture issue as much as it is a winemaking issue.
At one time, NickMartin (of Martin Bros wnry in Paso) was teaching classes in Vit/Winemaking at the community college in Wamego & I had high hopes for KS wines. Alas, he's moved on.
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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#18 Post by Drew Goin »

Adam Frisch wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 9:06 pm Tom, during the planning stages of my winery, I was adamant I wanted to work with native grapes, and especially Muscadine. Until I actually had a dry Muscadine. Believe it or not, from Napa. Yes, you read that right, Napa. It was not a pleasurable experience. I'm not entirely convinced you can't make a nice wine out of it, but I think you'd have to experiment a lot and find what would suit its peculiarities.

I posted a while back about a Napa Valley-grown Muscadine wine. I found it it head-scratchingly weird to consider the relative costs involved in cultivating this specific variety.

Here in Louisiana, we have fruit wines, hybrids (Norton, Blanc du Bois), as well as non-vinifera grape varieties available from a handful of local producers. The off-dry Blanc du Bois whites are okay.

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Re: NoNoNo....

#19 Post by maureen nelson »

TomHill wrote: February 24th, 2021, 12:20 pm
maureen nelson wrote: February 24th, 2021, 11:32 am
TomHill wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 7:01 pm

Well, Maureen... know Kansas well. What city??
I've had some Kansas wines that were actually decent. These were not them.

So sorry to hear that you "grew up". I've avoided doing that.
Tom
Tom, I “grew up” in Missouri, actually - St Josph, MO, which is in the very nw corner of MO on the Kansas line. When I was in high school KS was an “18” state and we used to drive across the river and buy beer, using my older sister’s Birth certificate as ID. We bought Coors, which was 3.2% alcohol and the most foul-tasting beverage on the planet. It convinced me that I hated beer and I didn’t drink another until I was at least 30.
NoNoNo, Maureen.....Coors was not foul-tasting. It was just a beer that was totally devoid of flavor and one (small) step above water.
When I'm doing wine judgings, I use Coors as a palate cleanser. The highest calling I know of for Coors.

Don't know StJoe very well. More familiar w/ Leavenworth & Atchison. But had a very good friend/BB player from Wathena.
Tom
As my dear, late father used to say Coors is like making love in a canoe...

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#20 Post by maureen nelson »

Michael Levin wrote: February 24th, 2021, 3:38 pm Sorry, as a fellow Kansas Citian (actually grew up in actual Kansas City) I have to jump in on this thread.

Can't speak for Kansas wines, but I'm surprised no one has jumped in on the Missouri wines. Maybe the Nortons in Missouri (Hermann) are well known enough no one felt a need to bring them up, but they are positively decent. Not sure which wineries make better ones, but lots of folks around here do a one-nighter in Herman and it's always enjoyable.

Mike
I believe that at one time MO had more bonded wineries than any other state.

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Re: What....

#21 Post by Matt A »

TomHill wrote: February 24th, 2021, 1:52 pm What village, Matt?? Know Kansas very well & lots of friends there from being too many yrs at KSU ('60-'72; Nuclear Engineering & BB).
You don't find any finer folk than in Kansas.
I've had a few Kansas wines that didn't go down the drain...but I was desparate for a wine to drink. But they do need
to lift the bar on Kansas wines.
Tom
Just west of Manhattan.

Prior to prohibition, Kansas was the largest grape growing region.
A lot of black nutrient rich soil around here, not ideal for growing Bordeaux variety grapes.....but fantastic for wheat, corn, soybeans, etc. However there are pockets in the flint hills and eastern parts of the state that try.
As you know our climate can be brutal. Extreme heat and cold with punishing winds.

Hopefully this young K-State couple can make something out of it (even though he is more known for his hard ciders)
We went last year before Covid hit, would like to go back in the Fall this year to see their progress.

https://www.liquidartwinery.com/home
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Well...

#22 Post by TomHill »

Matt A wrote: February 24th, 2021, 7:57 pm
TomHill wrote: February 24th, 2021, 1:52 pm What village, Matt?? Know Kansas very well & lots of friends there from being too many yrs at KSU ('60-'72; Nuclear Engineering & BB).
You don't find any finer folk than in Kansas.
I've had a few Kansas wines that didn't go down the drain...but I was desparate for a wine to drink. But they do need
to lift the bar on Kansas wines.
Tom
Just west of Manhattan.

Prior to prohibition, Kansas was the largest grape growing region.
A lot of black nutrient rich soil around here, not ideal for growing Bordeaux variety grapes.....but fantastic for wheat, corn, soybeans, etc. However there are pockets in the flint hills and eastern parts of the state that try.
As you know our climate can be brutal. Extreme heat and cold with punishing winds.

Hopefully this young K-State couple can make something out of it (even though he is more known for his hard ciders)
We went last year before Covid hit, would like to go back in the Fall this year to see their progress.

https://www.liquidartwinery.com/home
Riley/Keats/Leonardville/Wakefield??
The wnry out towards Riley on the old shielding test site makes some Pretty decent wines. Seems to know what they're doing.
Tom

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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#23 Post by Rich K0rz€nk0 »

maureen nelson wrote: February 23rd, 2021, 6:12 pm Fascinating, Tom, thanks. I grew up near there (well 45 minutes nw of KCMO) and confess I have never tasted a Kansas wine - and now I don’t have to. Thanks for saving me from that.
This

Came to the thread to see what Kansas wines were all about, stayed to find out why I should stay away and forget that wine is made there.
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Re: TN: Three Kansas Wines...(short/boring)

#24 Post by Michael Levin »

Anyone familiar with Vox Vineyards in Weston, MO? https://missouriwine.org/wineries/vox-vineyards

This is one guy (obvious obsessive, like other pioneers) trying to focus on making wine from a bunch of area native grapes. Really interesting.

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