Prairie Yard Garden Growing Grapes
(gentle music) Prairie Yard Garden is a production of the University of Minnesota Morris in cooperation with Pioneer Public Television. Closed captioning is provided by Mark and Margaret YackelJuleen in honor of Shalom Hill Farm, a nonprofit rural education retreat center in a beautiful
prairie setting near Windom in southwestern Minnesota. Shalom Hill Farm, shalomhill Did you hear that a new crop is appearing on the prairieé Growing grapes has created an interest among a few individuals who like the challenge of adapting it to our region. Join me on Prairie Yard Garden as we visit a vineyard to learn about the process and challenges
of growing grapes on the prairie. (soft lighthearted music) A new crop has appeared on the prairie: growing grapes And today I have Florian Ledermann with me who's been involved with the process for the last four to five years. Florian welcome to the show and tell me, how did you get interested in growing grapesé ^We got interested actually at the
University of Morris's Horticultural Night. We sat down in a tent and learned that the university just released four new varieties of grapes that are actually coldhardy. And before that, I always kind of figured grapes were the crop that just kind of came up and never really bore and died every winter and died back. So that's what spiked our interest.
And so that very nextspring, we bought five. And they survived and I did a little more research and decided to go with an acre. And a year later, another acre so we ended up with 1,350 vines as a result of that little adventure in Morris. Larry That's interesting. 1,300 vines, how long does it take you
to put all those in the groundé Florian We used family labor. (Florian laughs) So we had, it took us, I think probably when we were planting, it took us about threedays to put one acre in. That would be for the planting. The posts and the trellis system and everything
What sort of wine region is the LanguedocRoussillon
As you very well know the LanguedocRoussillon is not only largest winemaking region in the world with just under 300,000 hectaires, but it's also oldest winemaking region in France, going back 2600 years. It's been a very tumultuous history with lots of ups and downs, and quality variations. To be veryhonest with you the quality that put the LanguedocRoussillon
on the international scene is only a thirty year old history. So it's very very young. Imagine three ecosystems meeting: we have the sea, we have the massif central being the oldest mountains, we have the young mountains of the Pyrenees. We have all these terroirs, a mish mash of terroirs. Makes it extremely difficult to describe. I guess the common factor is probably the fact that it's a Mediterranean climate.
Therefore we tend to have wines with a bit more alcohol, more ripeness, a sense of fruitiness that others probably don't have. Tanninsé Most of the time they tend to be a bit softer as well. maybe a bit less acidic than other regions. The Languedoc Roussillon is also for me like an intermediate stage.
Take Grenache for example. Grenache in the Southern Rhone is a is very ripe and juicy, meaty, alcoholic.a ton of pleasure you get those wines like Gigondas, Rasteau, Chateauneuf du Pape, but then if you go extreme opposite, near the Spanish border, it goes into a real minerality an austere profile, and I guess the Languedoc Roussillon is really this. how should I put ité variation of
styles. So many many different wines can be found in Languedoc Roussillon.