Many Uhudler varieties are direct-producers. Unlike high-quality vine varieties, Uhudler vines grow on ungrafted vines, i.e. they are a plant in their own right from root to tip and are not grafted onto rootstocks (often from American vines!). They often came into being through crossings between different European and American vine varieties.
Isabella originally comes from North America. It is one of the best-known direct-producer varieties and acquired great importance during the phylloxera epidemic. It is fast growing and high yielding, is highly resistant to fungal diseases and phylloxera, and requires little fertilizer.
Its grapes are large and loose and modestly packed. The medium-sized oval grapes are thick-skinned, dark black and highly aromatic. It has a marked “foxy” taste. The grapes often mature at different rates.
The shoot tips are woolly with light crimson discolourations. The leaves are medium-large and trilobite. The leaf margin is lightly denticulated. The upper side of the leaves is dark green. The underside is grey-white and extremely woolly or even felt-like.
Origin and history:
Its precise origin is unknown – it is probably a cross between the American wild vine Vitis labrusca and an unknown Vitis vinifera variety. It is thought to come originally from South Caroline and is named after its “grower” Mrs Isabella Gibbs. She left the vine to a Mr. Prince for further cultivation. The vine variety came to France in 1820 and then later went on to Germany.
Far beyond the borders of Austria, Isabella is one of the best-known direct-producer grapes. Today, the grape variety is pressed in the CIS-States, primarily Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as in Switzerland, Portugal and on the Portuguese island of Madeira. Isabella matures under tropical conditions and is therefore popular for cultivation in New World countries such as Brazil, Uruguay, Japan, India and on Indonesian Bali. Isabella grapes can also be found in the eastern Black Sea region (Turkey, Armenia). There, the vine leaves are used in the preparation of Dolma (the famous stuffed vine leaves dish). Small stocks still exist in Austria, Italy and France. In north-east Italy, the grapes are used to produce a wine called Fragolino.
Concord is mainly cultivated in the northern cooler regions of America and Canada. The grape variety is fast growing and high yielding. It favours sandy soil. It is highly resistant to both powdery and downy mildew and winter frosts. It has hermaphrodite flowers and is therefore self-pollinating.
The grapes are loosely clustered and compact. The grapes are large, round and blue frosted. The skin is thin and sensitive. The flesh, however, is very sweet and fruity.
The leaves are rough; dark green on the upper side, pink to orange-coloured on the underside.
The wines are a light ruby colour, astringent and have a dominantly artificial-seeming strawberry taste – the typical foxy flavour.
Origin and history:
This grape originates from Vitis labrusca and came about through mutation. It is used intensively in the USA as a table grape as well as for wine production. Main producers are the states of Washington and New York.
Other important cultivation areas are Canada, Brazil and previously, following the phylloxera epidemic, Europe.
In the EU, it is only permitted in exceptional cases, such as in Uhudler, and can no longer be commercially marketed. For this reason, it has almost disappeared from Western Europe. It now only features in Eastern Europe, for example in Moldova.
Ripatella (also known as Ripadella or Ripotella). The dark blue to black grapes are not dissimilar to Concord grapes however they are slightly oval shaped.
The leaves are large and lobed. The first two leaves are slightly reddish pilose leaves, the following leaves are covered with a reddy felt on the underside. The wine is light red and is pleasantly foxy.
Origin and history:
The exact origin is unknown but it is probably a crossing between American varieties of the species Vitis riparia x Taylor (Vitis rupestris x Vitis aestivalis).
The grape variety is mainly cultivated in the southern part of Burgenland and, in part with other direct-producers, is used to create Uhudler.
The name may also come from this region.
Japanese or JAPANESE ISABELLA: Large blue grapes with very big, thick-skinned berries are characteristic of this grape variety. Intense strawberry flavour.
Very large thick leaves provide an excellent screen. It matures very early – often by the end of July.
This is a new variety and is likely to show a close relationship to the Isabella grape. The grapes of this variety also often ripen at different rates. The variety does, however, show good frost hardiness.
The unusually large grapes with large dark blue berries are mainly used for the production of table grapes, grape juice and sparkling wine. Thanks to its large leaves, it is also suitable as a decorative vine for house walls and pergolas.
This variety ripens early and is fast growing. It is renowned for its resistance to frost and fungal diseases and has a marked foxy taste. It is extremely hardy and suitable for unfavourable conditions.
The red grape is a new variety from Ohio (USA). It is named after its grower George W Campbell who developed it from a Concord seedling (Moore’s Early).
It is mainly cultivated in the USA and Canada (British Columbia and Ontario), but can also be found in Japan and Korea.
Clinton develops small, early-ripening grapes with round, small and dark black berries. Due to its early sprouting, it can be in danger of early frosts. It favours deep soils, low in lime scale. The variety is fast growing with marked phylloxera resistance.
It has large, thick leaves that are ideal for adding greenery to pergolas, etc. Clinton has hermaphrodite flowers and is therefore self-pollinating. Wine produced from the grapes is very fruity, often with a pronounced foxiness.
Clinton is presumed to be a spontaneous cross between American species (probably a hybrid of Vitis riparia x Vitis labrusca) and is thus a hybrid variety. The first seedling of this hybrid was found and selected in New York State in 1835. At the end of the 19th century following the phylloxera epidemic, it was planted in northern Italy and in the Italian part of Switzerland. In these areas, Clinton can be found as a table grape with a distinctive, extremely fruity flavour.
Elvira is a white wine variety of American origin. Due to its high resistance to phylloxera and mildew (powdery and downy mildew of the grapevine), it is cultivated ungrafted – as a direct-producer – and produces acid-accentuated white wines with a foxy flavour.
Elvira variety grapes have a very thin, almost transparent grape skin and are therefore vulnerable to wasps and hornets. The leaves are large and strong. This variety is highly resistant to phylloxera.
Elvira is presumed to be a spontaneous cross between the Taylor varieties (Vitis rupestris x Vitis aestivalis) and Martha (Variety of Vitis labrusca-Concord vine). It was selected by Jacob Rommel in 1862 in a vineyard in Morrison, Missouri and planted out in 1863. Rommel brought in his first harvest in 1869 – Elvira was brought to Europe very early on.
Elvira is used to produce the local speciality Uhudler in South Burgenland, and can also be found in Brazil, Hungary and the Ukraine. Small stocks are cultivated in Illinois and New York.
Isabella white is a new variety and results from the originally blue Isabella grapes.
Medium-sized, loose grapes, light green berries, very thick skinned. Taste of wild strawberries, ripens mid-October.
Delaware is a white cultivation from the originally light red grape variety. In appearance, it is similar to the red Veltliner. The grapes are medium-sized and densely berried; the berries are round. It is the only known pink-coloured Uhudler variety.
The grapes are medium-sized and densely berried with a subtle raspberry flavour. Susceptible to winter frost. The leaves are three-lobed and firm. The variety is slow-growing and demanding as regards soil conditions.
The exact origin of the variety is uncertain - it is probably a crossing between the American wild vines Vitis labrusca, Vitis aestivalis and Vitis vinifera.
There are still wine-growing areas in the United States today, mainly in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Delaware.
Noah belongs to the class called direct-producers as they don’t need to be grafted. It is resistant to phylloxera and other diseases. The wine has a pleasant foxy flavour.
The grapes are medium-sized, clustered and compact. The berries are of a yellow colour when fully ripe and come away easily from the stalks. The leaves are wide, cordiform and large.
The upper side of the leaves is a vibrant green, the underside covered with a light bloom. The petiole is streaked brown-red.
The variety is a cross between the descendants of the American species Vitis riparia and Vitis labrusca. It was selected in 1896 by Otto Wasserzieher. The grape variety is primarily cultivated in South Burgenland and is also turned into a single-variety white wine there. The name Noah possibly comes from this region.
This "new" variety is an interspecific new breed with the Isabella grape and comes from England. The distinctive strawberry flavour of Isabella is easily recognised. It ripens medium-early (beginning of September) and is very yield stable.
The grape is medium-sized and compact. The berries are large and yellowish. When fully ripened, the variety is highly aromatic, the fruit has a pleasant exotic aroma (not foxy). The leaves are medium-sized, lobed and a rich green. Its hardy nature makes it outstanding for hedgerow greening.
This white grape variety is an interspecific new breed between Chasselas Doré x Isabella. The hybrid crossing took place in Great Britain, where it is mainly used for grape production in greenhouses. Also known as Ananasnii, Ananas, Beregovskii, Ferdinand Lesseps and Muscat Ferdinand Lesseps. The name honours Ferdinand, Vicomte de Lesseps (1805-1894), who built the Suez Canal.