Two months ago, I wrote about the “Class of 1972,” wineries that either were founded or released their first vintage that year and went on to have a prominent impact in California wine. This year marks an important viticultural milestone in the East as well, as the 60th anniversary of the founding of Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery. That’s a not-so-subtle reminder that the story of American wine has its deepest roots on the East Coast.
I also mentioned Konstantin Frank in a piece on the growing popularity of the Georgian grape variety saperavi, which he introduced to the United States in the late 1950s. Saperavi was a small part of the legacy Frank is most known for: Convincing viticulturists in Upstate New York that European vinifera grape varieties could survive the region’s cold winters, and they needn’t rely on American labrusca grapes or French-American hybrids.