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.
I have now before me (January 25th) a bunch of the above desirable, long-keeping variety, as fresh and perfect as it came from the vine. It has been cultivated in the vicinity of Rochester for the last twenty or twenty-five years; yet it is still but little known, although well worthy of a more general cultivation on account of its hardiness and productiveness. It is the grape for the north, where no other variety ripens. Even with us, (latitude 42°,) in backward seasons this is the only variety that attains complete maturity. I would particularly recommend it to wine-makers as worthy of trial. My opinion is, that before many years it will be extensively cultivated as a wine grape. Judging from the character of its juice, the wine will require a longer time to ripen than that of Isabella and Catawba, and will keep much longer than either. It succeeds well in all dry situations, and is entirely free from rot, to which the Catawba is particularly subject.
It is a matter of surprise that the wine-maker* of the west, some of whom have been making such active search for native grapes, have not turned their attention to this variety. I have not seen it mentioned in any of their reports. I am informed, however, that it is now in the course of being tested there, and that a quantity of the grapes have been sent from this place to an eminent wine-maker, to be tested as to their wine-producing qualities. We may therefore expect a report soon.
The vine grows rapidly, and is propagated easily, striking more readily from cuttings than any other variety I know in the whole catalogue of popular native and foreign sorts. The shoots are slender and wiry, ripening so well as to acquire great firmness, and hence it is so hardy that the severe cold of a northern winter never affects even the softest parts of the young shoots.
Wood - grayish brown, and short-jointed. Leaves - small and thin, sharply serrated, and, unlike Isabella and Catawba, which are usually turned backwards, they have more of a concave form. Bunches - small and compact, resembling much the Black Cluster. Berries - small to medium, black, juicy, with considerable pulp, rather acid when first gathered even though ripe. They improve by keeping, just as winter pears will by house-ripening. It s a prodigious bearer, and ripens in equal situations two or three weeks before the Isabella*
Reuben, in his notes, tells us "that we must grow a vine as free from mildew and as hardy as the Clinton, with a fruit as desirable for the table as Iona or Adirondac."
It is curious that the vine to which I referred as incurably afflicted with mildew, even when thoroughly dusted with road dust, was a genuine Clinton - no doubt of it. The Clinton is a most valuable grape - a grape that deserves more attention than has been given to it; but I despair of seeing a variety of the grape that, under all circumstances, will prove free from mildew.
Neubert's Recipe for Mildew - In the December number of the Horticulturist, Horticola gives Neubert's recipe as 12 1/2 ounces of salt to 100 ounces of water. In the volume for 1864, page 170, the recipe is given as 12 1/2 ounces of salt and 36 ounces of water, and then one part of this solution to 100 to 120 parts (ounces) of water. This would give 12 1/2 ounces of salt to 3600 to 4320 ounces of water, or, as I expressed it in my article in the September number, 1 part of salt to 400 of water; more accurately, 1 ounce of salt in 353 ozs. of water. Will Horticola please explain the discrepancy? Either of these solutions is far from homoeopathic.