In this episode of Winephabet Street, we learned about the Isabella grape with Stephen Casscles, a viticulturist and winemaker from New York’s Hudson Valley. His project is Hudson Valley Heritage Wines where he works with indigenous, native or historically notable grapes and re-introduces them and a national audience to bring these grapes back.
Winephabet Street is a monthly series where Lori Budd of Draceana Wines and I work through the alphabet exploring wine and wine regions one letter at a time. The show is live on the third Monday at 8pm (but does change depending on our schedules) and is free, but you must register to attend. Put it on your calendar, pour yourself a glass of wine and hang out with us. It is sponsored by Dracaena Wines and Trio North Wildwood.
The Isabella grape is a “Chance Hybrid or Chance Seedling” grape explains Stephen. Horticulturist George Gibb planted the grape in his garden in Brooklyn, New York and Nurseryman, William Prince from Flushing, New York went to Gibb’s house, like the grape and got cuttings from it. Date, 1819. He began selling it out of his nursery and named the grape Isabella after Gibb’s his wife. Today, Isabella is grown in Brazil, India, Moldovia and Ukraine, covering over 70,000 acres.
Learn more about Isabella from Stephen who is so knowledgeable in this grape and may others by listening to the podcast of watching the webinar.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to sample any wines during the webinar. Please let me know if you find and taste an Isabella wine.
Watch the Webinar