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Seyve-Villard

Important French vine-breeding company in Saint-Vallier on the Drôme in the Rhône Valley, founded by the breeder Bertille Seyve (1864-1939) and his father-in-law and partner Victor Villard. His sons, Bertille Seyve Jr (1895-1959) and Joannes Seyve (1900-1966), later also worked at the farm. Here, from the end of the 19th century, over a hundred new French varieties were developed by crossing American vines or hybrids with European vines. These were mostly hybrids of the so-called second generation, as many of them used hybrids from the French breeder Albert Seibel (1844-1936) as crossing partners. The grape varieties were mostly named with the name of the farm (Seyve, Seyval, Seyve-Villard or Villard) and a serial number, some of which were later given a ringing name. Numerous hybrids have also been created under the name Joannes Seyve plus serial number as a basis for new varieties. The most famous creation got the name Chambourcin (JS 26-205).

The most successful Seyve-Villard varieties, some of which were cross-breeding partners for other varieties, are Dattier de St. Vallier (SV 20-365), Garonnet (SV 18-283), Pierrelle (SV 20-366), Roucaneuf (SV 12-309), Seyval Blanc (SV 5276), Seyve-Villard 12-286, Seyve-Villard 12-481, Seyve-Villard 18-402, Valerien (SV 23-410),Varousset (SV 23-657), Villard Blanc (SV 12-375) and Villard Noir (SV 18-315). From the 1940s onwards, the American wine-growing pioneer Philip Wagner (1904-1996) from Maryland was largely responsible for the fact that many of these varieties spread along the entire east coast of the USA in many states. At the end of the 1960s, the vineyards in France still amounted to around 60,000 hectares, but due to EU regulations (ban on hybrids) they were almost completely grubbed up. However, in England, Japan and in the eastern USA, some of them are still widespread today, because in cool areas, the early ripening vines, which are mostly resistant to frost and fungal diseases, are of great advantage. On this subject, see PIWI and and quality wine vines.

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