The University of Minnesota has released 5 cultivars (including one coming in 2017!) specifically bred for use in the wine industry. Frontenac, Frontenac Gris, La Crescent, and Marquette. Itasca, a white wine grape will become the newest. Frontenac blanc, another color mutation identified by growers Frontenac has also become widely planted. Details on these cultivars and others developed at UMN can be found here.
The fruit breeding project which has included grapes for over 100 years split into two research areas in 2015. With support from the state legistlature and leadership through CFANS, a Grape Breeding and Enology research focus separate from fruit breeding was developed in the Department of Horticultural Science. Read more about the history of the fruit breeding project and the Horticultural Research Center.