Scientists at Cornell University have asked the public for names for two new grape varieties that will be released from their breeding program in 2013, according to an article on Cornell’s Chronicle Online. Grape breeder Bruce Reisch, who is accepting name submissions at firstname.lastname@example.org, came up with the two new varieties—”a cold-hardy white wine grape and an innovative organic dark red.”
The scientists are looking for names that are unique (a potential challenge with some 7,000 other grape varieties), marketable, reasonably easy to pronounce and conjure positive connotations, said Reisch. Currently, the new varieties’ names are NY76.0844.24 and NY95.0301.01. Shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with something a bit more inspiring.
Cornell, with a host of new grape varieties in development, has been breeding grapes since 1888. It’s not a quick process, though, and can take 30 to 40 years for a new variety to be released, and several more before the grapes appear in commercially available wine.
Asking the public to participate and creating a social media campaign are Reisch’s effort to create some buzz about the new varieties, according to the Chronicle Online piece. “There are so many different flavors. Why shouldn’t people get excited about new varieties?,” said Reisch. “They keep things interesting for the consumer and are often better for growers.”
The winning names will be announced at the Viticulture 2013 conference in February in Rochester, NY.