Petite Pearl Grapes
Developed by Minnesota grape breeder Tom Plocher, Petite Pearl is another variety that makes it possible to grow grapes in northern climates. Exhibiting outstanding cold hardiness, it has survived temperatures to -32ºF, including some sharp drops in temperature of more than -50º. It is highly resistant to common vine diseases. It offers Vermont growers a real benefit in that it has a late bud break and bloom, protecting new growth from Vermont’s all too common late spring frosts. Like Marquette, one of its parents is the variety MN 1094 with the other the vinifera-like variety St. Croix. It was released in 2009 with Mad River Vineyard planting its first block of these vines in 2010.
Petite Pearl wine has a dark garnet color and reviewers have described it as a wine with a complexity in aroma and flavor with soft mid-mouth tannins. Experimental wines made from Petite Pearl have been described as elegant.