Edelweiss is a Vitis labrusca hybrid (Minnesota 78 x Ontario) developed by Elmer Swenson and introduced in 1980 by the University of Minnesota. It has medium to large clusters, rather loose, attaining a pound or more in weight. The berries are medium sized, slipskin, of light green to pale gold color. They are high in sugar content, very juicy, with a flavor reminiscent of Niagara. Developed as a table grape, Edelweiss makes acceptable semi-sweet to dry wines in a Riesling style. The grapes ripen 5-6 weeks before Concord, but hang well on the vine and can be made in an ice wine style if the first freeze is not too long in coming -- the flavor becomes strong if left too long. The vine itself has good disease and fungus resistence, is hardy to -35 degrees F., and is vigorous and productive. The recipe below is for a semi-dry Riesling style table wine.
Pick grapes when fully ripe, discarding any spoiled or unripe grapes from clusters. Crush and destem the grapes. Add pectic enzyme to the crush and stir with wooden paddle. Cover and set aside 2 hours. Press grapes and transfer juice to primary fermentation vessel, stirring in ¼ tsp potassium metabisulfite and covering primary. Place in refrigerator or cool place and let sit 8 hours. Adjust acidity and sugar as required (starting specific gravity should not exceed 1.095 unless naturally) and stir in yeast nutrient. Add activated yeast starter gently so starter remains at or near surface (stir shallowly). Recover primary and after 4 hours stir deeply and cover again. Ferment in primary until specific gravity drops to 1.010 to 1.015. Stabilize, rack to secondary, attach airlock, and set in a cool place. Wine should continue fermenting to 0.998-1.004. Rack every 30-45 days until wine stabilizes and clears, adding ¼ tsp. potassium metabisulfite every other racking (recipe ingredients allow for at least 3 additions). If wine does not clear after 3rd racking, fine with Bentonite and allow additional month to clear. Rack again, sweeten to taste, and bottle. Allow 3 months before tasting. [Author's own recipe]
My thanks to Troy Bellrichard, River Falls, Wisconsin, for this request.