This section is from the book "The Fruit Manual: Containing The Descriptions And Synonyms Of The Fruits And Fruit Trees Of Great Britain", by Robert Hogg. Also available from Amazon: The Fruit Manual.
Bunches, large, loose, and shouldered. Berries, of unequal size; some are large and oval. Skin, thick, reddish brown, becoming black when fully ripe; beginning to colour at the apex, and proceeding gradually towards the stalk, where it is generally paler. Flesh, firm, sweet, but not highly flavoured until it has hung late in the season, when it is very rich, sprightly, and vinous;. the small berries are generally without seeds, and the large ones have rarely more than one.
This is a late-keeping grape of the first quality. It is very late, and requires stove heat to ripen it thoroughly. It is perhaps one of the worst to set its fruit; and to secure anything like a crop, it is necessary to impregnate the ovaries when the vine is in bloom, by passing the hand occasionally down the bunch. The effect of this is explained under Muscat of Alexandria. The leaves die bright yellow.
It is called Horsforth Seedling from having been well grown by Appleby, the gardener at Horsforth Hall, near Leeds, and therefore being looked upon as a new variety. The same thing occurred some years later, when it was well grown by Cox, the gardener at Kempsey House, Worcester, and it was shown as a new variety under the name of Kempsey Alicante.
Bunches, medium size or large, of an ovate shape, well set, and shouldered. Berries, oval, weli set. Skin, tough and membranous, quite black, and covered with thin bloom. Flesh, rather firm and crackling, adhering to the skin, with a fine, brisk, vinous flavour.
This is an excellent late grape, and hangs till March, but the vine is not a good bearer. The leaves die purple.
Bunches, large, long, loose, and shouldered; stalk, long. Berries, large, oval, unequal in size, and with long, slender, warted stalks. Skin, thick, generally greenish yellow, but when highly ripened a fine pale amber colour, and covered with thin white bloom. Flesh, firm and breaking, not very juicy, but exceedingly sweet and rich, with a fine Muscat flavour.
A well-known and most delicious grape, requiring a high temperature to ripen it thoroughly; but it may be sufficiently ripened in a warm vinery, provided it has a high temperature at the time of flowering and while the fruit is setting. The vine is an abundant bearer, but the bunches set badly. To remedy this defect, a very good plan is to draw the hand down the bunches when they are in bloom, so as to distribute the pollen, and thereby aid fertilisation. The cause of this defective fertilisation is the tendency of the stigma to exude a globule of liquid, which so effectually protects the stigmatic tissue from the influence of the pollen that the ovary is not fertilised. Passing the hand over the bunch, or otherwise agitating it so as to remove moisture, permits the pollen to come in contact with the stigma. The leaves die pale sulphur mottled with brown.
It is this grape which furnishes the Muscatel raisins, imported in boxes from Spain. It was called Muscat Escholata by Daniel Money, a nurseryman and vine grower at Haverstock Hill, on the road to Hampstead, from his having named his place "Eschol Place," in allusion to the brook Eschol, where the Israelite spies got the large bunch of grapes. The names Bowood Muscat, Tottenham Park Muscat, and Tynninghame Muscat arose from seedlings having been raised at these places, which have eventually proved to be merely seminal reproductions of the old variety.
Muscat Blanc. See White Frontignan.