Concord is a black grape from USA, with flavours dominated by its Vitis Labrusca heritage.
One of main advantages with Concord is its resistance to cold, which, together with giving high yields, has contributed to its popularity among growers in north-eastern USA. The taste is different from grapes produced by the so called European
varieties (Vitis Vinifera), and can best be described as an earthy,
sweet muskiness combined with a good portion of artificiality and nail
polish remover*. The aroma is kind of sharp and a person used to the
“European” style of wine might have some problems in appreciating it.
Concord is very popular in the state of New York where it is used not only for producing wine to drink, but also as a table grape, for producing juice, as well as being used for cooking, for example in pies or to make ice cream. You can find it in dry as well as in sweet versions.
The best suggestions for food to pair with a Concord dry wine is white meats, for example Chicken. Best served at 10-12°C/50-54°F.
Where is it grown?
US plantings are concentrated to the north-east, especially in the area between New York and Niagara Falls. Plantings in Canada are in Ontario, west of Niagara Falls.
- USA 8.421 ha/20,809 ac, MPG rank 8
- Brazil 3.543 ha/8,755 ac, MPG rank 3
- Canada 252 ha/623 ac, MPG rank 3
There is also a small acreage in Uruguay.
Concord’s story is thought to be a natural crossing between varieties of Vitis Labrusca and Vitis Vinifera. Which one’s is so far unknown.
Concord is also an important part of wine growing and drinking in USA.
*The word Foxy is often used to describe Vitis Labrusca grape flavours. This has nothing to do with the animal, it is just a way of stating that the taste is different to what we (persons used to drink Vitis Vinifera wines) commonly expect a grape or a wine to taste.