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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 the Sioux Indian tribe. Synonyms are 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 , Michigan, Muncy, Muncy Pale Red, Munipale Red, Omega, Red Muncy, Rose of Tennessee, Rote Captraube, Saratoga, Singleton, Tekomah, Tokay and Virginia Amber. Next Concord. Norton and Scuppernong it is one of the historically most important American vines.

Catawba - grape and leaf

The origin of the variety was long unclear or there were several, sometimes contradictory, assumptions. Parenting only started in 2016 Julius Kühn Institute (Geilweilerhof) through 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 can also be a deliberately created intersection. It also turned out that Catawba was a parent of the famous Concord is. Catawba was also a crossing partner of the new breed Woodruff, The sorts Catawba White. Diana (3) and To Kalon are openly bloomed Seedlings.

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

Finally, in 1825 the attorney Nicholas received Longworth (1783-1863) of Adlum Catawba cuttings and grew them extensively on his lands near Cincinnati on the Ohio River in the state of Ohio. In 1842 this had already planted 480 hectares. Longworth made the first American sparkling wine "Sparkling Catawba" and became the first major commercial US wine producer. Catawba wine was even successfully exported to Europe. The wine was praised in a ballad by the author Henry Longfellow (1807-1882) in 1854. The American Civil War (1861-1865), vine diseases and ultimately Longworth's death ended these first successes.

The very late ripening, productive and frost hardy vine is susceptible to black rot and both Mildew species, It produces acidic wines with subtle Foxton, But it is mainly used as table grape as well as for sparkling wine, jelly and grape juice used. It was in the United States long before the famous one Concord the first successful grape variety. However, due to the disadvantage of not producing high-quality dry-aged wines, it experienced a decline. The variety 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 (cym Anderson ).

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

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