The recent comments about Pinotage got me to thinking about hybrid grape varietals and whether they will ever be fully embraced. In Virginia, hybrids such as Syval Blanc, Chambourcin, Vidal Blanc are regularly planted. But if a neophyte wine region is to get any respect, doesn’t it have to do so with known and accepted grape varietals? It’s hard enough to get someone to buy a wine from an unknown and unproven area. It would seem that convincing consumers to purchase both an unknown varietal from an unknown area would double the difficulty of marketing such a wine. And then there are the wine geeks (we know who we are) who know oh so much about varietals and, for the most part, often sniff at hybrid based wines. Jim Law, one of Virginia’s premier wine makers refers to this attitude - somewhat tongue in cheek - as “Grapism.” He may have a point. Hybrids rarely get press and when they do, the coverage seems to have an obligatory air to it. The number of hybrid wines in my cellar is the grand total of 1 and it’s a dessert style wine. When tasting at a winery, I’ll admit to being less interested in hybrid based wines. Why are hybrids not “in” wines? What will it take to make them “in” wines?

"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd