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Vitis rupestris

One of about 30 American species or wild vines with the complete botanical name Vitis rupestris Scheele. It was first described in 1848 by the botanist Georg Heinrich Adolf Scheele (1808-1864), who for this reason is also immortalized in the name. Together with the two species Vitis acerifolia and Vitis riparia it forms the group Ripariae. Due to the often stony subsoil of its habitats, it is also known by the trivial synonyms rock vine or sand vine, as well as Beach Grape, Bush Grape, Currant Grape, Ingar Grape, July Grape, Mountain Grape, Rock Grape, Sand Grape and Sugar Grape.

The vine is found mainly in the temperate, warm regions of the southwestern USA in treeless prairies. These are mainly the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. In contrast to other wild vines, it is not a climbing plant, has a high need for light and warmth and grows as a small bush mainly on dry sand, gravel and crushed stone soils along mountain rivers, as well as in dried-out riverbeds.

Vitis rupestris - Weintrauben und Blatt

The vine is resistant to both types of mildew, tolerates heat but is sensitive to drought, frost and chalky soils. The resistance against phylloxera is excellent - very good against nodosities and good against tuberosities. It develops a deep root system. The vine produces simple wines without foxton (strawberry flavour), so although it is used for Celtic varieties because of its other positive characteristics, it is mainly used for crossing rootstocks. The best known are, among others, 110 Richter, 1103 Paulsen, 140 Ruggeri, 3309 Couderc and the notorious AxR 1.

New varieties with Vitis rupestris genes are Alicante Ganzin, America, Aramon du Gard, Bellandais, Breidecker, Cabernet Cantor, Calastra, Caperan, Chambourcin, Chancellor, Chelois, Couderc Noir, Decora, Flot Rouge, Garonnet, Johanniter, La Crosse, Landal Noir, Landot Noir, Lanka, Maréchal Joffre, Merzling, Munson, Oiseau Rouge, Olivar, Phoenix, Pinard, Plantet, Principal, Rainha, Ravat Blanc, Ravat Noir, Rayon d'Or, Reflex, Reform, Regent, Rescape, Rinot, Royalty, Rubired, Seyval Blanc, Sirius, Staufer, Taylor, Triomphe d'Alsace, Vidal Blanc, Villard Blanc, Villard Noir, Vivarais, Zala Gyöngye. See further information under American Vines and Vine Classification.

Picture left: from the book The Grapes of New York, 1908 by Ulysses Prentiss Hedrick
Picture right: By Joachim Schmid, Geisenheim - Photographed by himself, CC BY 3.0 de, Link
both edited by Norbert F. J. Tischelmayer

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