Producer: 7 Vines Vineyard
Region: Minnesota
Grapes: 100% Frontenac Gris
Production: 160 cases
ABV: 11.7%
Price: $35*

* Review sample provided by the winery

7 Vines Vineyard 2017 Frontenac Gris

7 Vines Vineyard 2017 Frontenac Gris

88 points

This copper-colored wine smells like tropically flavored cotton candy with dried mango and caramelized pineapple, but also some citrusy notes.

Off-dry the palate is explosively tropical, with an almost gritty texture and a bit of weigth on the mid-palate. It's broad and mouth-filling with more pineapple and mango leading the way but also some dried orange peel. Again, it's off-dry but there is plenty of acidity here to bring focus. The finish isn't super-long, but it doesn't drop off either.

One of the most unique wines I tasted in 2018. It makes me curious to taste more frontenac gris bottled on its own. At $35 it's probably not a great value for those looking to experiment with the grapes and/or region.

About Author

Lenn Thompson, a proud Pittsburgh, PA native, moved to Long Island more than a decade ago and quickly fell in love with the region’s dynamic and emerging wine community. A digital and content marketing and community professional by day, he founded in early 2004 to share his passion for the wines, beers and spirits of New York State. After running that site -- which became the premier source for independent New York wine commentary, reviews and news -- for 12 years, he launched in late 2016 to add the wines of Virginia, Maryland, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Vermont and beyond to his beat. Lenn currently serves as the wine columnist for The Suffolk Times weekly newspaper and is the former editor of the Long Island Wine Gazette. He contributes or has contributed to publications like Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Beverage Media, Edible Brooklyn, Edible East End and Edible Hudson Valley. Lenn served on the board of directors for Drink Local Wine, and is the creator and founder of TasteCamp, an annual regional wine immersion conference for writers and trade. An admitted riesling and cabernet franc fanatic, he’s intensely passionate about eating local and the many local wine regions of America. Lenn lives in Miller Place, NY with his wife Nena, son Jackson, daughter Anna and their dog, Casey Lemieux Thompson.


  1. Patrick Pierquet on

    Hey Lenn – It’s nice to see this variety getting some press coverage; it makes a nice sweet wine. We’ve made some delicious Frontenac Gris “Ice” wine(Freezing the fresh-pressed juice to obtain concentrated(35 Brix) must). I think this would be a very good use for Front Gris.

    Enology Lab
    Wooster, Ohio

    • Patrick,

      That makes a lot of sense — especially with all of that natural acidity.

      You froze the juice, rather than the fruit? Have you tried it that way too?

      Any sites in Ohio where you could let it freeze on the vine?

  2. Patrick Pierquet on

    Hi Lenn – Yes, we freeze the fresh pressed Frontenac Gris juice, to concentrate the must. This results in a much better yield(compared to natural freezing on the vine) and certainly less risk of fruit loss, and fewer frozen fingers!. Some winemakers(Chris Stamp at Lakeview) freeze the whole clusters, then press the fruit when it’s frozen……our press is not suited for such demanding work. At least one of our wineries makes classic ice wine by letting the fruit freeze on the vine, then they mechanically harvest the crop…low labor requirement with this technique.

    Another good use for Frontenac Gris – Blending with Frontenac “rose”. As you probabaly know, the original Frontenac, when crushed an immediately pressed for a rose’ wine, is usually much too dark to actually be called “rose”. So we have experimented with “field blends” of Frontenac and Front Gris(they ripen the same time), and crushed and pressed them together. A ratio of about 40% Frontenac and 60% Front Gris results in a very nice rose’ wine, without the excess color. The flavors of these two varieties seem to marry quite nicely, as well. FYI, we usually harvest our Frontenac at 25-27 Brix, to minimize acidity as much as possible.

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