One of the most exciting things going on in regional wine is the research and development of new grape species, and especially the work being done with cold hardy grapes. Vitis vinifera, the European wine grape species that includes chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, doesn't like cold weather.
Hence the effort to propagate cold hardy grapes that can be made into quality wine. Anna Katharine Mansfield, a Cornell University enologist, has been a key researcher in the development of several of these grapes. One of them is frontenac, which produces a fruity red wine that has been successfully grown in regions as far north as Minnesota.
In the podcast, we talk about developing new grape varieties, how and why it's done, and why it's so important. This is not my best recording — we were in a large building where we judged the International Eastern Wine Competition. There were a lot of echoes, and you'll need to keep the sound turned up. The podcast is 7.4 megabytes and lasts about 8 minutes. You can download or stream it here.