The red grape variety originates from the USA; it is named after the river of the same name in North Carolina or 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, Red Capraube, Saratoga, Singleton, Tekomah, Tokay and Virginia Amber. Along with Concord, Norton and Scuppernong, it is one of the most important American vines. The botanist Liberty Hyde Bailey (1858-1954) called the Catawba grape "the first great American grape". The variety's parentage was unclear for a long time, or rather there were several partly contradictory conjectures. The parentage was only determined in 2016 at the Julius Kühn Institute (Geilweilerhof) by DNA analysis. The variety comes from a cross between a wild Vitis labrusca (which was always suspected to be the parent) x Sémillon. It may well be a deliberately induced cross or a new variety. Furthermore, it turned out that Catawba is a parent of the famous Concord. Catawba was also a crossing partner of the new variety Woodruff. The varieties Catawba White, Diana (3) and To Kalon are open-pollinated seedlings.
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