The red grape variety comes from the USA. Synonyms are Bergerac, Bull's Seedling, Concord Crni, Corin, Cornin, Dalmadin, Fehérhatu, Fekete Noah, Furmin Noir, Gorin, Gurin, Jurka, Kék Olasz, Koncord, Konkordi, Konkordia, Nyarfalevelü, Nyarlevelü, Olasz Kék, Ripadella, Ripatella, Ripertella and Ripotella. The last four synonyms refer to the variety Ripatella, which was previously considered as a separate variety. It was not until 2016 that DNA analyses in Geisenheim (Rheingau) determined that it was genetically identical to Concord. The exact lineage of Concord was also determined in 2016 by DNA analyses at the Julius Kühn Institute (Geilweilerhof). It originates from a cross between Catawba (Vitis labrusca x Sémillon) x Vitis labrusca.
The Concord was the result of a ten-year, complex selection. Ephraim Wales Bull (1806-1895), known as "Father of the Concord Grape", exposed the seeds of a wild vine in the town of Concord in Massachusetts in 1843 and propagated them to 22,000 cuttings. From these he selected a single vine until 1849. Nearby was a Catawba vine, which was always suspected to be the parent. This he propagated and further selected. The final result was presented in 1853, and there is even a historical record of it. Bull then named the variety after the nearby town of Concord in 1854. From the 1860s onwards, it found widespread use in the north-east of the USA as the "Grape of the Millions".
The first (pasteurized) grape juice from Concord grapes was produced by a certain Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch in 1869, who is therefore considered the founder of the later expanding US fruit juice industry. His son, Dr. Charles Edgar Welch (1852-1926), used it to make grape jam and called it grapelade. Due to its excellent resistance to phylloxera, the grape variety was cultivated on a large scale in Europe, especially France, at the beginning of the phylloxera catastrophe in the last third of the 19th century and quickly became popular. A description dating from 1881 at a congress in Bordeaux even rated the wine pressed from Concord as "delicious in taste with an extremely charming foxton". But even with the Concord the phylloxera problem could not be solved.
The importance of the vine proves that 75% of all grapes in the eastern USA are descended from the Concord. Well over a hundred varieties are listed in the VIVC vine variety catalogue of the Geilweilerhof. These include Adelaide, Beauty of Minnesota, Beta, Black Eagle, Black Defiance, Challenge, Concord Seedless, Conquistador, Cottage, Dutchess, Gill Wylie, Kentucky, Monroe, Moore's Diamond, Niagara, Oberon, Triumph and Woodruff. There are also numerous open-flowered Concord seedlings for which the paternity is not known. These are for example Adeline, Capital, Chautauqua, Eaton, Ester, Golden Concord, Horner, Jumbo Red, King, Lexington, Magnate, Martha, Moore Early, Sunbelt, Urbana (1), Victoria (3), Witt, Yonkers. In 1999, on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the selection, the exhibition "The Concord Grape: An American Classic" was opened at the Museum of Concord.
The early-ripening, high-yielding vine is sensitive to fungal diseases. It is very susceptible to eutypiosis, black rot and black spot disease and somewhat less susceptible to downy mildew, anthracnose and botrytis. Due to its good resistance to frost, it is particularly suitable for cooler areas. It yields red wines of moderate alcohol content with a pronounced foxtone. Therefore, it is mainly used only for sweet wine, sparkling wine, table grapes, grape juice and jam. It is also used to make kosher wine.
In the USA, Concord occupies a total of 8,421 hectares of vineyards and is widespread here, especially in the east. It is represented there in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York (with ~8,000 hectares), Ohio and Pennsylvania. There are also other populations in Brazil (3,543 ha), Japan, Canada (252 ha), Peru and Uruguay (22 ha). In Austria (Burgenland) Concord is used for the local speciality Uhudler. In 2010, the variety occupied a total of 12,238 hectares of vineyards worldwide, with a downward trend. It thus occupied 59th place in the worldwide grape variety ranking (statistics Kym Anderson).
Concord grape: By Wolfgang Lendl - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Concord Blatt: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)
Bull Portrait: DeadFred Genealogy Photo Archive
Bull with Concord: By unknown, PD-US, Link
all edited by Norbert F. J. Tischelmayer