This cultivar was produced by Elmer Swenson, a pioneering grape breeder who introduced a number of new cultivars that are hardy in the Upper Midwest. It was introduced by the University of Minnesota.
Edelweiss vines are very winter hardy – reportedly to -30°F - and show good disease resistance. It is an important varietal in the northern part of the U.S. Vines produce large, loose clusters of early ripening, large, pale gold grapes.
The grapes are often used to make sweet, aromatic, white wines with mild fruity flavors. Flavors are typical of the native grape species Vitis labrusca and are often referred to as “foxy”. Edelweiss is also planted for grape juice and table grape production.