The red grape variety (also GM 6494-5) is a new variety between Zarya Severa x St. Laurent. Synonyms are Ambros Rot, Geisenheim 6494-5 and GM 6494-5, and genes of Vitis amurensis and Vitis vinifera are included. Although it is clearly a hybrid from a botanical point of view, it is not considered as such. Strictly speaking, these are prohibited within the EU for quality wines and local wines. In 2003, a study was carried out on behalf of the European Commission to establish criteria for the assessment of "hybrid or non-hybrid". The variety was classified as a "non-hybrid" among several other new breeds with amurensis genes carried out in Germany (see under hybrids).
The basic cross of the underlying variety was made as early as 1964 by the breeder Vilém Kraus (1924-2013) in the former Czechoslovakia. This breeder later offered some vine seeds to Dr. Helmut Becker (1927-1990) in Geisenheim, who recognized the importance of the breeding material. From this seedling population, which was then called GM 6494, the seedling 6494-5 was selected due to its performance and later propagated under the variety name Rondo as an independent grape variety. Plant variety protection was granted in 1997. By the way, the variety was also a crossing partner in the new varieties Allegro and Prior.
The very early maturing vine has a high resistance to winter frost and downy mildew, but is susceptible to powdery mildew. It produces deep dark, ruby red wines with Merlot-like raspberry and cherry aromas, which are also excellent as complexions (colour enhancers). In Germany, the vine occupies ten hectares of vineyards, mostly in the Rheinhessen region. There are also other stocks in England (40 ha) and Romania (1 ha). In 2010, a total of 50 hectares of vineyard area were designated.
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)