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The Unique Allure of Cayuga

In the world of winemaking, the choice of grape varietals is a crucial decision that shapes the identity of a wine. At Ashton Creek Vineyard, our choice of Cayuga is a testament to our dedication to creating exceptional wines that stand out in both character and quality. Cayuga, a cold-hardy grape, thrives in the diverse terroir of our vineyard, allowing us to harness its unique characteristics to create wines of exceptional quality. This varietal makes clean, light, neutral dry wine. Very vigorous and productive and hardy to -5 degrees!


Cayuga is a hybrid grape variety that was developed to withstand cold climates while producing high-quality wines. The history of Cayuga dates back to the mid-20th century when researchers at Cornell University's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, New York, set out to create grape varieties that could thrive in the challenging climate of the northeastern United States.

The development of Cayuga can be attributed to the work of Dr. Clinton F. Weaver, who was a leading figure in grape breeding at Cornell University. Cayuga is a cross between two grape varieties: Schuyler (a complex hybrid of Vitis vinifera and native American species) and Seyval Blanc (a French-American hybrid). The breeding work started in the 1950s, and Cayuga was officially released in 1972. The grape was named after Cayuga Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in New York, where Cornell University is located.

The primary goal behind developing Cayuga was to provide grape growers in the northern regions, particularly in New York State, with a grape variety that could withstand harsh winters and produce high-quality wines. Cayuga proved to be well-suited for the climate of the Finger Lakes region, where cold temperatures and challenging growing conditions are common.

Cayuga's adaptability, disease resistance, and ability to produce a wide range of wine styles, from dry to sweet, have contributed to its popularity among winemakers in the northeastern United States and other regions with cold climates.


Currently in our wine making program we use this varietal to add balance and depth to our some of our white and rose wines. To experience Cayuga for yourself come visit us in our tasting room where the opportunity to learn is just a sip away.




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