The High Country Wine Grower's Association held their first general membership meeting of 2011 at the Ag Conference Center this week. Over 20 members, including grape growers, farm managers, wine-makers, and ASU Enology experts discussed grape varieties suitable for mountain growing, marketing prospects, and the ins and outs of forming a cooperative. High Country WGA President Bob Johnson suggested that the group of winemakers should concentrate on around 8 varieties that growers and producers can produce high-quality marketable wines from.
While the Piedmont of NC has had much success with some traditional European grape varieties, there are grape hybrids that may prove to be better for establishing High Country branding. As part of the meeting, wines from several of these varieties were available to allow members to sample. Varieties such as Traminette, Vignoles, Corot Noir, Marquette, Fosch, and Seyval Blanc seem to show promise.