Term for a cross between two grape varieties of different species. These are combinations between the European Vitis vinifera and an American or Asian species. But also crosses between two different American (for example Vitis labrusca x Vitis rupestris) or Asian (for example Vitis amurensis x Vitis coignetiae) or between American and Asian species (for example Vitis amurensis x Vitis riparia) are interspecific crosses (inter = between). Usually only interspecific crossings are called hybrids.
The result of crossing different varieties of the same species with each other, for example two varieties of the only European species Vitis vinifera, is called intraspecific crossing (intra = within). For example, the intraspecific crossing Riesling x Madeleine Royale resulted in the Müller-Thurgau variety. Strictly speaking, these crosses are also hybrids, although they are hardly ever called so.
In contrast, a cross between genera is called an intergeneric cross; for example between the two subgenera Vitis Vitis subg. Vitis and Vitis subg. Muscadinia (see Muscadinia). However, this occurs relatively rarely, because crossings are very difficult due to different chromosome numbers. An example is the new breeding of the rootstock vine Nemadex Alain Bouquet.
In the case of interspecific crosses, the EU regulation requires Vitis vinifera to be included. Whether such varieties are also permitted for quality wine or country wine is the responsibility of the member states. See also Quality wine grape varieties; and Vine systematics and breeding.
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)