Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Hybridizing V. aestivalis in Loudoun County, Virginia!

      I was hoping to find a Vitis aestivalis female vine to hybridize when I got to Stone Tower, and I found TWO!  I also found a beautiful Vitis labrusca female vine right next to the Nebbiolo block in the rock pile they made when clearing the block.  The two summer grape vines are on the roadsides near the farm.  Here's some pics!

Hybrid seeds from the Mt. Gilead Rd. aestivalis

Fox Hill Rd. aestivalis with cluster pollinated using Nebbiolo flowers

Fox Hill Rd. aestivalis leaf top

Fox Hill Rd. aestivalis leaf underside

Another Fox Hill Rd. aestivalis leaf top

Another Fox Hill Rd. aestivalis leaf underside.  This is a weird vine.  I suspect it has some Vitis cordifolia in it based on the leaf shapes on the vine.

Fox Hill Rd. V. aestivalis grapes with hybrid seeds inside!

Setting of the Trammeltown V. labrusca

 Trammeltown labrusca spring foliage and berries

Seedlings of the Trammeltown Vitis labrusca X Chardonnay!  As they get older, these really look like the old variety Lindley (labrusca X Chasselas) bred by E.S. Rogers in the 1850's.

Lots of Mt. Gilead Rd. aestivalis seedlings popping up

A closeup of a Mt. Gilead Rd. aestivalis flower cluster.  Note the recurved stamens and big pistils.

Mt. Gilead Rd. V. aestivalis spring shoot leaf undersides.  They get more waxy and white-blue as they get older.

Same shoot as previous from the top side

Mt. Gilead Rd. aestivalis spring shoot tip

So, the hybridization of my current locality's aestivalii and labrusca was a success.  All were planted on at the end of July just as the rains returned.  About 50 of the labrusca X Chardonnay were planted out.  This cross is to try to find a Chardonnay-based companion to Catawba which was Semillon as its vinifera parent.  Several hundred seedlings from the Mt. Gilead and Fox Hill Rd. aestivalii went out.  These were crosses with Nebbiolo, Viognier, Graciano, and Cabernet Franc.  This year (2020) I put Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Malbec, Lenoir, Favorite, and a hybrid from friend John Glisson in Georgia.  The Lenoir and Favorite seeds will yield vines like Norton.

Enjoy your Wild aestivalis and other wild Vitis!!!