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Baco Noir (pronounced BA-koh NWAHR; Baco noir is also called Baco 1) is a hybrid red wine grape variety produced from a cross of Vitis vinifera var. (Folle Blanche, a French wine grape) and an unknown variety of Vitis riparia (an indigenous North American grape species). Baco Noir was first created by French wine hybridizer Maurice Baco (hence the name of the grape).
Baco Noir was originally bred to replace Pinot Noir during the phylloxera epidemic during the 1800s. It produces a medium body, deeply tinted, acidic red wine which is fruit forward and often carries aromas of black fruits and caramel.
Baco Noir Casscles Middle Hope is in Middle Hope, NY, and was planted by our winemaker when he was still in high school, all those many years ago, and a cellar rat at Benmarl Winery. Today those vines are more than 35 years old. The Middle Hope vineyard had fallen into disrepair at one point, but in the last three years, it’s been Steve’s (and one of ours) biggest reclamation projects. The woods surrounding the vineyards had to be cut back severely, which was done by Ralph Cooley III and his team. Steve and his sons saved the vineyard through aggressive pruning and retraining the vines. But the restoration as well worth it!
The grapes were hand-picked in October down beautiful sloping lanes. The grapes were brought to Hudson-Chatham Winery where they were de-stemmed. At least one quarter to two-thirds of the fermentation is done with whole clusters. Steve believes in carbonic maceration, which gives a very pretty sense of fruit to the final finished wine. The must is then pressed by hand, the old fashioned way, in a 100-year old wood basket screw press. The juice was fermented in stainless-steel, and then transferred to neutral French oak barrels. All done by hand.
Then the wine sat for about 6 months in older, neutral French oak in order to round out the wine without overpowering it. After six to eight months, we bottle it.
This is a handmade wine. No fining. No filtering. Hints of vanilla and cherry are on the nose. The cherry comes through, as does a touch of vanilla in this wonderful, medium bodied red wine of great complexity. It finishes with some spice, dry and smooth. This delightful red also has a bright sour cherry profile with big whiffs of plum and vanilla. An incredible soft, medium-bodied wine that will age well for years. This wine is excellent with cheese, pork, chicken, pasta, and other gourmet meals.