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The red grape variety comes from the United States; It is named after the river of the same name in North Carolina or Sioux Indian tribe. Synonyms include Arkansas, Catalan, Catalan Rojo, Catalan Roxo, Catawba Rosa, Cher Kee, Cherokee, Fanches, Francher, Francher Kello White, Francher Kells White, Lebanon, Lebanon Seedling, Lichigan, Lincoln, Mammoth Catawba, Meads Seedling, Mecleron, Merceron , Muncy Pale Red, Munipale Red, Omega, Red Muncy, Rose of Tennessee, Red Captraube, Saratoga, Singleton, Tekomah, Tokay and Virginia Amber. Next Concord. Norton and Scuppernong she is one of the most historically important American vines.

Catawba - grape and leaf

The descent of the variety was long unclear or there were several sometimes contradictory assumptions. Parenting was not until 2016 on Julius Kühn Institute (Geilweilerhof) DNA analysis determined. The variety comes from one crossing between a wild one Vitis labrusca (which has always been suspected as a parent) x Sémillon, It may well be a deliberately induced crossing. It also turned out that Catawba is a parent of the famous Concord is. Catawba was also crossing partner of the new breed Woodruff, The sorts Catawba White. Diana (3) and To Kalon are openly dimmed Seedlings.

In 1801, the inn owner Samuel Murray (1739-1817) was near Ashville in North Carolina discovered some wild-growing vines. Some cuttings In 1807, it came into the possession of Senator General Davy, who planted it on his property in Rocky Mount near the Catawba River and named it first Tokay and later after the river. Some copies he sent to friends in the state Maryland, Some of them were owned by Surveyor Major John Adlum (1759-1836). He planted it in 1820 at his winery "The Vineyard" near the town Georgestown- Ohio Two years later he produced the first wine. In 1823, Adlum sent former US President Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) a bottle of wine pressed from it, which expressed itself positively in a thank-you letter.

Finally, in 1825, the lawyer Nicholas received Longworth (1783-1863) of Adlum Catawba cuttings and planted them extensively on his lands near Cincinnati on the Ohio River in Ohio State. By 1842, 480 hectares had been planted. Longworth produced the first American Sparkling Catawba sparkling wine and became the first major commercial US wine producer. Catawba wine has even been successfully exported to Europe. The author Henry Longfellow (1807-1882) praised the wine in 1854 in a ballad. The American Civil War (1861-1865), vine diseases and finally Longworth's death then ended these first successes.

The very late-ripening, productive and frost-hard vine is prone to black rot and both Mildew species, It produces acidic wines with subtle Foxton, But it is mainly as table grape as well as for sparkling wine, jelly and grape juice used. It was long before the famous in the US Concord the first successful grape variety. Due to the disadvantage of not producing high-quality dry wines, they experienced a decline. The species is all in the state new York common (480 ha). There are more vineyards in Arkansas. Illinois. Indiana. Iowa. Michigan. Missouri (38 ha), Pennsylvania (68 ha) and Tennessee, In 2010, a total of 633 hectares were recorded in the USA (Kym Anderson ).

Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Bruehl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)

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