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Suhru Wines is the first winery in the region to create a standalone wine from La Crescent, a new hybrid grape variety.(Photo credit: Victoria Caruso)

The 2022 La Crescent is a blend of 83% La Crescent, 8% Golden Muscatel, 8% Riesling, and 1% Chardonnay. (Credit: Victoria Caruso)

Suhru Wines, a family-owned winery in Cutchogue, has recently unveiled its newest wine, making history with Long Island’s first-ever La Crescent. 

The refreshing and citrusy white wine, made from a new hybrid grape variety, is the debut of Assistant Winemaker Brad Ulrich. 

“As soon as I tasted it, I knew that there was something special here,” Ulrich said. “It’s a new grape variety in the wine world; there are very few examples and no road map to follow.” 

While making his first wine for Suhru Wines, Ulrich experimented with La Crescent, using different winemaking techniques and blending options to accentuate the light-skinned grape’s natural citrus flavors. 

Ulrich is one of few winemakers nationwide to craft a standalone wine from La Crescent grapes — the 2022 La Crescent is a blend of 83% La Crescent, 8% Golden Muscatel, 8% Riesling, and 1% Chardonnay. The result is a light-bodied white with a vibrant fruity aroma and notes of pink grapefruit zest, limoncello and white peach. 

“If I had to put it in a spectrum, I would say it falls in between Pinot Grigio and Riesling, but it has these citrus notes that are unlike any other white varietals I’ve ever tasted,” he explained. 

La Crescent was developed by the University of Minnesota. Named after a small town in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the hybrid grape variety was bred to resist the frigid climates of the Great Lakes region. With its adaptability and potential to withstand harsh weather, the hybrid variety is an ideal fit for sustainable-minded winemakers in the Northeast like Ulrich. 

“As climate change progresses and its future effects remain unknown, it makes sense to make use of heartier grape varietals which require less spraying in the vineyard, which limits the chemicals introduced to our environment,” Ulrich said. 

“Gone are the days when wine lovers only reach for the classic European grape varieties,” added winemaker Russell Hearn. “We are finding this particularly true with the younger generation of wine drinkers, making it the perfect grape for Brad’s debut wine, as he continues to express and define his personal winemaking style.”

The release of the 2022 La Crescent marks the beginning of a new collection of Suhru wines, designed to showcase some of the lesser-known grape varietals being grown across New York State.

The 2022 La Crescent is available at Suhru Wines‘ tasting room in Cutchogue at $18 per bottle.