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Seibel Collective term for a large number of French hybrids that were crossed between European and American varieties. They were created by the French breeder Albert Seibel (1844-1936), in the commune of Saint-Julien-en-Saint-Alban (Ardèche), where a street is named after him on an honorary basis.

He was one of the first in France to produce new varieties on a large scale in the truest sense of the word. This was even before phylloxera, which reached France in the middle of the 19th century. When the cause of vineyard dieback was only recognized after a long period of time, crosses between American and European varieties were one of the many (consistently unsuccessful) attempts to control the rapidly spreading catastrophe.

But breeding objectives were also resistance to fungi, frost and earlier ripening. The Seibel varieties were named after their breeder with a consecutive number - later on they often got speaking names. The American viticulture pioneer Philip Wagner (1904-1996) from the US state of Maryland was largely responsible for the spread of many Seibel varieties along the entire east coast of North America from the 1940s. In the middle of the 20th century there were still an incredible 70,000 hectares of Seibel varieties in France, but today they have all but disappeared. But there are still smaller populations, mainly in North America on the east coast in the state of New York (Finger Lakes) and also in Canada (Ontario).

For many Seibel varieties American hybrids of the US breeder Hermann Jaeger (1844-1895) were used, especially Jaeger 70(Munson). In the breeding lists they appear with the numbers from 1 to 19975. Although not all positions are occupied, there are several thousand. Ringing names were later given to Aramon du Gard (p. 2007), Aurore (p. 5279), Bellandais (p. 14596), Cascade (p. 13053), Chancellor (p. 7053), Chelois (p. 10878), Colobel (p. 8357), De Chaunac (p. 9549), Flot d'Or (p. 2653), Flot Rouge (p. 1020), Gloire de Seibel (p. 5409), Plantet (p. 5455), Rayon d'Or (p. 4986), Roi des Noirs (p. 4346), Rosette (p. 1000), Rougeon (p. 5898), Rubilande (p. 11803), Seibel 13666 (no sounding name yet), Salvador Noire (p. 128), Soleil Blanc (p. 10868), Subereux (p. 6905), Verdelet (p. 9110) and Vivarais (p. 2003).

Many belong to the so-called first generation of French hybrids, which were then used for further crosses of the second and third generation. These include Seyval Blanc (SV 5276), Villard Blanc (SV 12-375) and Villard Noir (SV 18-315) from the famous Seyve-Villard vine nursery. Seibel vines have also been used for over 30 new varieties of Landot. The two Frenchmen Jean François Ravat and Jean-Louis Vidal, as well as the American Elmer Swenson also used some Seibel vines. See a list of keywords relevant to grape varieties under grapevine.

Picture: By Anonymus - Portraits d'Ardéchois célèbres sur Medarus.org, CC BY-SA 4.0, Link

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