The white grape variety is an interspecific new variety Seibel 5656 x Seibel 4986(Rayon d'Or). Synonyms are Fresco, Seival, Seyval, Seyve-Villard, Seyve-Villard 5-276 and SV 5-276. The red variety Seyval Noir was created with the same parents. It contains genes from Vitis lincecumii, Vitis rupestris and Vitis vinifera. This hybrid is, together with Villard Blanc, one of the most successful breedings of the Seyve-Villard vine nursery in Saint-Vallier in the Département Isère (Rhône Valley). The variety was a crossing partner of the new breeds Birstaler Muscat, Cayuga White, Chardonel, Donauveltliner, Horizon, La Crosse, Merzling, Melody, Réselle, Souvignier Gris, St. Croix and St. Pepin.
The early to medium-ripening, high-yielding vine is generally resistant to disease, but susceptible to botrytis. It yields rather neutral tasting, acidic white wines, which are well suited for the production of sparkling wines. At the end of the 1950s, it still occupied more than 1,300 hectares of vineyards in France, but this stock has shrunk extremely to 105 hectares, mainly due to the EU ban on hybrids. Other stocks in Europe were in England (85 ha), Madagascar, Romania (1 ha) and Switzerland (8 h). Overseas, it is represented in Canada (112 ha), as well as the US states of Indiana, Iowa, California, Michigan, Missouri and New York (259 ha in total). In 2010, the worldwide stock totaled 259 hectares.
Source: Wine Grapes / J. Robinson, J. Harding, J. Vouillamoz / Penguin Books Ltd. 2012
Pictures: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)