St. Pepin (grape)
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St. Pepin is a modern hybrid variety of wine grape, mostly grown in North America. It produces grapes suitable for making fruity white wines similar to Riesling or as a base for blended wines. The grapes also make a good seeded table grape for eating. It has the benefits of early ripening and when hardened properly in the fall it is winter hardy to at least −25 °F (−32 °C). As such it best suited to growing in more northern climates.
St. Pepin was breed by Elmer Swenson circa 1970 and released in 1986. It is a hybrid of the male Seyval blanc crossed to a seedling of Minnesota 78 by Seibel 1000 (aka Rosette). Unlike most modern grapes it is a pistillate female and so needs to be planted next to male vines from a close sibling variety to achieve pollination.
To clarify the parentage of St. Pepin;
- Minnesota 78 is recorded as a cross of Beta by Witt, but many have doubted this pedigree, and Elmer Swenson suggested that the male parent may be Jessica, a cross of Vitis labrusca by a variety of Vitis aestivalis
- Beta is a cross of a variety of Vitis riparia by Concord
- Seyval is a cross of Seibel 5656 and Seibel 4986 Both these hybrids are a complex set of crosses of other Seibel hybrids.
- Lisa Ann Smiley, Paul Domoto, and Gail Nonnecke, "Cold Climate Cultivars", Iowa State University Dept. of Agriculture, http://viticulture.hort.iastate.edu/cultivars/cultivars.html
- National Grape Registry, http://ngr.ucdavis.edu/
- Rombough, Lon. The Grape Grower Chelsea Green Publishing, 2002. p. 218.