This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Mr. Hovey, of Mass.: Moved it be carried to list for general cultivation. Mr. Prince: Is opposed; ' tis a weak and tender grape of the character of the Chasselas; evidently a seedling of the White Chasselas, and like that, very puny in out-door culture. Mr. Hovey: Had failed to discover the Chasselas character; thought the Rebecca as hardy as the Delaware; no more subject to mildew. I believe to be as fine as any out-door grape; had received premiums of many societies, and when Isabellas of 1 1/2 inches in diameter, had been winter killed, the Rebecca was hardy enough to withstand the severe cold. Hoag of N. Y.: Had seen no mildew except on the Hudson River: Mr. Strong, Mass.; MildewB the same as Diana; suffers more than the Concord or Hartford Prolific; believe it will prove hardy. Mr. Hooker: It is not a strong grower; is hardy in severe winters; foliage somewhat sunburnt, and subject to mildew. Mr. Field: It is not hardy on L. I. Mr. Thomson: Mildews in Central Ohio. Mr. Freeman, Ravenswood, L. I.: Has found it hardy; has grown from 15 to 18 feet in length, this year; mildews some this year. Mr. Frost, N. Y.: I consider it as hardy as Isabella and Catawba; has slender growth, but very healthy. Mr. Barry: Should like further trial of this grape as promising well.
Mr. Saunders: I think it has the character of a native grape, as it mildews like the native grapes on the under side of the leaf. The holes in the leaves are not caused by the sun, as some have supposed, but by the mildew eating through the thin leaf. It is a weak grower, the same as the Delaware; Left as promising well.
Mr. Prince: Proposed Norton's Virginia Seedling as a fine wine grape, being early, and must form the basis for great vineyards in this country. The vineyards of Indiana only succeeded where this variety was grown. Geo. Hussman, of Herrman, Missouri, has a vineyard of this grape. Dr. Warder: Said it was known in Cincinnati as a wine grape and highly valued. Not sufficiently tested, and allowed to remain as promising well. Dr. Warder proposed, Union Village, Herbemont and Logan.
Rebecca, which formerly promised so highly, I must not fail to notice by an encouraging word. Notwithstanding the difficulties it has had to contend with (and excessive propagation is the greatest), yet I believe that any one who gets a good taste of this fine and very rich fruit will be unwilling to be without it. The past remarkably unfavorable season has caused some mildew to its leaves, but not more than to that old standard the Isabella; and this should cause little distrust to its value, because when the vines become older and stronger they will be better able to withstand the changes of the seasons. Its foliage is not very abundant, consequently its fruit bearing should be moderated by thinning, and its treatment should be that of a garden rather than of an open vineyard variety. It is still new, and not fully tested out of the garden, in which it originated, and requires time to enable it to take rank as the American Chasselas.
From what I have seen of this grape, I should be very much inclined to fear that it is not hardy. I do not like to condemn it on my own experience, but all the vines I have seen here mildewed this season very badly, and some who were formerly its warmest friends, are disposed to give it the go-by. I would plant but sparingly of the Rebecca.
Clusters long and tapering; berries medium size, oval, green when shaded, of golden hue in the sun, very juicy, sweet, and pulpless. Suited to table use. Prospers south of Massachusetts; best probably in the latitude of Pennsylvania, where it ripens in September. It grows well generally, but very rapidly for the first four years. The vine is somewhat subject to mildew." The last sentence is undoubtedly correct.