Most conjure images of beer and whiskey when thinking of St. Patrick’s day, myself included! I love a good stout and I can even tell you a thing or two about Irish Whiskey. However, that got me thinking…Do they make wine?
Ireland is located pretty far north from popular growing regions of France & Italy. It is also known for its cooler, more damp climate but, let’s face it NB can be pretty cool too (winter – are we over it!) and we make wine. Why not Ireland? So, I started the hunt for more information – I did find myself chasing a few internet rainbows along the way but here is what I learnt…
Just like here, few varieties of grape vines can grow and prosper but the areas that do show some activity (aka grow views & produce wine) are mainly in the southern region. Of course, as expected in cooler, wet climates there are fruit and berry wine production. They also make mead (honey wine) using a combination of honey, grapes and herbs.
Back to wine!
What seems to be the most hearty variety for the area is Rondo or Amurensis Walk, named by Thomas Walk. This species is a red grape identified from Vitis Amurensis of the Vitis Vinifera family. It was selected due to being early ripening and resistant to powdery mildew. Cool!
Some like, David Llewellyn, grow more “traditional” vines but utilize a synthetic cover that will protect from the elements as well as provide additional warmth. (It should be noted that Llewellyn is further north near Dublin and is one of the largest with 500btl/y of Lusca Wines.) The Wine Development Board of Ireland and the European Commission both acknowledge this to be a wine region worth keeping an eye on. If the “Luck of the Irish” rings true at all, we may see more information over the coming years. I mean, the Desmond Castle is already home to the International Museum of Wine!
There are no Irish wines available in NB but I think picking up a bottle of Magnetic Hill Lodestone Red and/or Pollen Angels Queen’s Nectar Sparkling Mead would certainly bring some cheer.
xo ~ Charlotte