French and American Hybrid Wine Grape Varieties:

A Glossary of French and American Hybrid Wine Grape Varieties

French and American Hybrid Wine Grape Varieties - Extracted from The Super Gigantic WWW Wine Grape Glossary by Anthony J. Hawkins

"Wine is Bottled Poetry" - Robert Louis Stevenson

FRENCH/AMERICAN HYBRID WINE GRAPE VARIETIES

AURORE

French-american hybrid grape widely grown in New York State (U.S.A). Used to produce fruity white wines of mild intensity usually vinified with a dry finish and also good quality sparkling wines. Mainly found in the colder northern temperate regions of North America.

BACO NOIR

(aka Baco No.1). A french-american hybrid grape used to make an intense red wine regarded by some as a good substitute for Cabernet Sauvignon . Capable of aging, its origins trace to the Folle Blanche and a native American strain of grape. Extensively grown in the cool northern regions of N. America.

CABERNET SEVERNY

Hybrid red wine variety created in Russia to withstand harsh cold climatic conditions. Small acreages currently grown in Canada.

CARLOS

Made as a varietal by several U.S. wineries, mainly in N. Carolina and Mississipi, this bronze Muscadine hybrid derived from the native American species grape found in the Southern states is generally made into sweet wines. The best known related variety is the Scuppernong.

CATAWBA

A native American - ("vitis labrusca") - grape used to produce sweet white, red and rose' wines distinguished by a so-called "foxy" component. Commonly grown in the Eastern U.S. and Canada. New York state wineries produce large amounts of sparkling wine from this grape. It is also quite popular when made into an ultra-sweet "ice-wine".

CAYUGA (WHITE)

A hybrid cross between the Johannisberg Riesling and Seyval Blanc grapes. Makes a fruity white wine of mild intensity somewhat similar to Aurore. Widely grown in the Finger Lakes region of New York State and other cool regions of North America.

CHAMBOURCIN (NOIR)

A french-american hybrid used to make red wines with fruity flavors and some herbaceousness. Grown in the cooler regions of Eastern U.S. and Canada. Decreasing acreages also found in Europe; due to stringent European Union rules these varieties cannot be blended with traditional varieties.

CHANCELLOR (NOIR)

A french-american hybrid with origins in the Rhone Valley of France. Was widely grown and very popular in France where it was used to produce high quality red and rose' wines. Now being replaced by varieties stipulated by E.U. rules. Also grown in the cooler regions of Eastern U.S. and Canada.

CHELOIS

French-american hybrid grape used to produce robust, fruity red wines hinting of Burgundy and often finished in a dry style. Found mainly in cooler regions of the Northern U.S. and Canada.

CONCORD

Native American hybrid grape producing the characteristic "foxy" flavored style of wine associated with vitis labrusca vines. Grown mainly in the Eastern and Mid-Western U.S. and Canada to produce sweet finished wines, grape-juice and jellies.

CYNTHIANA

Known to be identical to the Norton grape. (See below).

DE CHAUNAC

An early ripening french-american hybrid grape which gives a fruity, balanced red wine usually possessed of low to mild tannic content. Planted mainly in the cooler regions of the Northeast U.S. and Canada.

DELAWARE

A native American hybrid grape variety used to make dry, sweet and sparkling white wines of good quality and mild "foxy" character. Commonly grown in the Eastern U.S. where it has considerable popularity when made into "ice-wine".

DUTCHESS

Native American hybrid grape used to make fruity, quite sweet white wines with mildly "foxy" character. Mainly found in Eastern U.S.

FOCH

(see Marechal Foch below).

ISABELLA

French-american hybrid grape grown on limited acreages in New York state. Also still found in colder regions of eastern Europe. Derived from a native vitis labrusca grape of N. America and an unknown vinifera and probably created by random pollination as a result of the 18th century attempts to establish European vines in the U.S. Rapidly being removed and replaced by varieties that lack the obtrusive "foxy" taste and flavor of this grape.

LANDOT

French-american hybrid grape used for making fruity red wine of mild intensity with usual grapey labrusca nuance found in its parent grapes. Mostly produced in the Eastern U.S..

LEON MILLOT

Early french-american hybrid grape very similar to Marechal Foch below.

MAGNOLIA

Muscadine grape derivative with floral flavors used mainly to make sweet white wines in the South-East and Gulf states of the U.S..

MARECHAL FOCH

A french-american hybrid grape, with french Alsace Gamay origins, noted for producing deeply colored and strongly varietal wines considered by some to have a "Burgundian" character. Also known under the name Foch. (See above).

MUSCADINE

Best known varietal name for a native American species of grape common to the Southern states of the U.S. and also found in Mexico. Scuppernong is the most familiar grape variety name.

NIAGARA

Native American hybrid grape used to create popular white wines with strong "grapey" flavor, usually sweet finished, but also found in dry versions. Possibly one of the few hybrids that will remain popular in the U.S. because of a wide consumer base created after World War II. Vine plantings are mainly in the Eastern and Mid-West regions of the U.S..

NORTON

This american hybrid grape is found mainly in the warmer regions of the southeast U.S. Taste and aroma characteristics of the light red wine are said to include coffee and spicy flavors. Generally accepted as identical to the Cynthiana grape. (See above).

RAVAT (VIGNOLES)

Commonly grown in the cooler regions of North America, this french-american hybrid used for making white dry, late-harvest and ice-wines has its origins in the Chardonnay grape. Currently very popular as a dessert wine because of its restrained fruitiness and good balance.

RAVAT NOIR

French-american hybrid grape related to Pinot Noir. Some stock is planted in the Eastern states of the U.S. in order to make a currently light, candy-flavored red wine.

SCUPPERNONG

Native american Muscadine grape variant with the usual characteristic "musky" flavor. Mostly confined to the South-East and Gulf states of the U.S.

SEYVAL BLANC

A french-american hybrid grape that can be used to make high quality white wines of various styles. Crisp, fruity dry versions have sometimes been likened to French "Chablis" in aroma and taste. Grown extensively in the colder northern temperate zones of N. America and Europe.

STEUBEN

American native hybrid grape used to make mild, grapey, red wine. Found mostly in the Eastern and Mid-West regions of the U.S..

VERDELET

Mainly planted in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York state and in the Niagara Peninsula region of Canada. Suitable for eating as a table grape as well as for making white wine.

VIDAL BLANC

Popular french-american hybrid white wine grape with fruity, floral flavors and good balance descended from the Ugni Blanc of France, (aka Trebbiano of Italy). Made in a variety of styles - (i.e: Dry to sweet including late-harvest dessert style and ice wines). Cool region grapes vinified in a Rhine/Mosel manner are said to have a Riesling-like character.

VILLARD BLANC

French-american hybrid grape used mostly for making a fruity, mildly intense white wine of simple nature. Was widely planted in France until E.U. rules stipulated strict varietal combinations. It is now found mostly in the cooler regions of the Northern U.S. and Canada.