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The red grape variety (also New York 12-696) is an interspecific new breeding between Wayne (Mills x Ontario) x Sheridan(Herbert x Worden). It contains genes from Vitis labrusca and Vitis vinifera. The hybrid was crossed in the USA in 1825 by the two breeders Richard Wellington and G. D. Oberle. The vine was named after the German-American General Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben (1730-1794), who was very popular in the USA and who had served as a Prussian officer under King Frederick the Great (1712-1786). In 1777 he went to North America and was the Inspector General of George Washington's (1732-1799) army from 1778 to 1784 in the American War of Independence against the English. The variety was a crossing partner in the two new varieties Corot Noir and Noiret.

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