Early in January, on a cool afternoon, Front Range permaculture superstar Irina K. invited us to come and take cuttings of her grapevines. Her vines grow in the middle of Metro Denver with southern and western exposure and in summer they are a sight that impresses anyone who beholds them. In the dreariness of winter, they may not be as impressive but they yielded numerous cuttings for propagation.
Irina beams with pride when she talks about her vines, especially the Leon Millot, which she sourced from a New York vineyard. Leon Millot is a blue skinned red wine grape which performs exceptionally well in our Front Range climate. Its such a well rounded wine grape its often blended into other wines to correct for flaws. It is able to pass as a table grape, but Leon Millot truly shines as a wine grape. Irina's vines are very healthy and maybe a little behind on pruning so I took hardwood cuttings with reckless abandon and managed to nick my finger with the pruning shears. Ouch!
Satisified with my bundle of Leon Millot, Irina directs me to her Prarie Star vine, a white wine grape with unusual cold hardiness. Another smaller bundle is claimed. Finally she directs me to an unnamed cultivar that she describes as her most fragrant purple grape. I trim a bundle of cuttings from these as well and will offer them this year as "Irina's Choice". Floppy Hat Farm will offer these 3 varieties as well rooted, first year plants for the 2018 season. Supply is limited so be sure claim yours early in the season.
Irina K.'s Leon Millot grapes in full summer glory