Hybrids gain traction

Evergreen Lek vineyard overlooking Keuka Lake

The US is not burdened with Europe's prejudice against non-vinifera vines.

Earlier this year I grew curious about the state of wines made from hybrids in North America. So I reached out to two wine writer colleagues, Todd Tzrakos in Vermont and Lenn Thompson in New York, to ask for their help in contacting producers for a tasting at home in California. But the effort didn’t stop there.

It turns out the community of growers, winemakers, breeders and researchers working on hybrids are both enthusiastic and tight-knit. A vintner in New York heard I was especially interested in...