Blue My Mind is made from the Steuben grape, one of the many offsprings in the American hybrid grapes originating from Catawba. If you have ever had red grape juice, it’s made from Concord, an offspring of Catawba, or white grape juice from Niagara, it too comes from the Catawba family tree.

The secret to Blue My Mind is in the processing of the grapes.  Most wineries that I know of do not leave the American hybrid varieties on the skins for any length of time, rather, it’s de-stem, crush, then press.  The first time I tasted the Steuben grape, I thought there was a lot of potential in the skins.  Since it would be a new wine to our wine list several years ago, I thought, what the heck, let’s see what skin contact does.

Due to the demise of the vineyard in Indiana where we got the Steuben grapes, we now source these grapes from Pennsylvania.  We also grow Steuben and our Steuben grapes go into a wine we call “Robin’s Revenge.”

I have a friend in Pennsylvania that grows these grapes for us and he struggled to get ripeness due to an early cooling off in the fall this year.  And his delay, which is a great thing because he thinks quality, quality, and quality, lead to a logistics “issue” with me.  Normally, I can get through primary fermentation season before swim season begins (I coach high school swimming).  And when you do not add sugar or juice to wine and rely solely on capturing residual sugar through arrested fermentation – filtering the wine at the exact hour of the day, the whole notion of swim meets and practices get in the way.  What if the wine is ready to be filtered but we are at an away meet, or at practice?  Yikes.  To top it off, we’ll be fermenting multiple tanks of wine at the same time, and our 2019 vintage saw a collision course of practices, swim meets, catawba, niagara, concord, and stueben fermenting at the same rate.  Highly unmanageable if you stick to a normal work week schedule.  But what if….

In early December we pulled the equivalency of college final exam week and cold filtered all four successively starting at 3:45 AM.  Made the first practice by 7 minutes.  The next day, still at it hard, made the practice by 1 minute.  That is our no-compromise approach though.  I give great passion for my student swimmers and divers and the same passion goes into our wines.

The skins of Steuben yield incredible fruit-forward flavors of strawberry, grapefruit, very ripe cherry, and lemon notes. We ferment the wine extremely cold over several months, then when the alcohol and residual sugar reach the perfect point, we filter the wine, leaving only natural residual sugar in our wines. At Turtle Run, we never back-sweeten our wines with either sugar, juice, or juice concentrate.

Adding sugar to sweeten wine is a common, traditional practice in the United States, probably originating from the home winemaker scene.  At Turtle Run, we explored scientifically to see if there is a difference between arrested fermentation wine, the way Europe and Turtle Run do it, versus sugar added to wine, the American way.  First, wines with sugar added have half of their sweetness provided by glucose.  Arrested fermentation wines have little to no glucose left behind as the yeast seem to prefer to consume glucose before metabolizing fructose into alcohol.  Because fructose is far sweeter than glucose and because arrested fermentation wines have less alcohol, we can drop our calorie count by over 50% over sugar-added wines.  Because many more maladies to humans are tied to the overconsumption of glucose, such as diabetes, hypertension, inflammation, and cancer growth, we think our pain in the rear method of winemaking provides a better product for the consumer. And arrested fermentation wines have a clean, refreshing aftertaste, not a cloying, syrupy sugar aftertaste.

Vintage 2019 | Varietal Steuben | Appellation Lake Erie, PA
Acid 0.66| PH 3.53| Alcohol 9.4% | Residual Sugar 3.2% | Glucose Grams 0 | Sucrose Grams 0 | Fructose Grams 14 | Calories of Fructose per Bottle 42
Aging stainless steel

Price: $14 per bottle

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