Libby Prejean has not been back to West Virginia in 60 years, but sometimes she just can't help it. The "I" becomes an "Ah." The edges of her speech get lethargic.
The Marechal Foch we're drinking is not by any means a sweet red wine, but it's not Vitis vinifera, either. And Prejean says that hybrids have helped keep the vinifera operation chugging. "It would still be hard to profit with nothing but vinifera," she says. "It's easier to make it work when you have other things helping."
The Foch is a nice example, as I imagine it's easier to sell to many customers than a bottle of cabernet franc. It's dark in the glass, but it's soft in the mouth, even if it's not deep or complex. "We worked for many years to get this Marechal Foch to a point where you'd want to drink it," Prejean admits. "It wasn't always approachable. We're happy with where it is now."