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.
heavily shouldered, short conical, with long stout stalks. Berry-stalks, short and stout. Berries, large, roundish oval marked with sutural furrows which extend over the apex of the fruit. Skin, stout membranous, quite black, covered with a fine bloom. Flesh, firm, tender, very juicy and sweet, with a sprightly flavour like that of Black Morocco. A very fine late grape, surpassing in flavour the Black Alicante, which is of the same class and season. It may be distinguished from Alicante by the smooth glossy upper surface of the leaves, that of Alicante being woolly. The only disadvantage this vine possesses is the sterile disposition of its flowers, which require to be artificially impregnated to secure a good crop of fruit, and this is not a difficulty with experienced gardeners. The easiest mode of doing this is to get a small bunch of feather grass (Stipa pennata), and with it collect pollen from the flowers of a vine which has it more abundantly, and then gently pass the grass over the flowers of the vine which it is intended to fertilise.
Alnwick Seedling was raised about the year 1857 in the garden at Alnwick Castle, the seat of the Duke of Northumberland, and, according to an account which I have every reason to believe to be authentic, the raiser was William Caseley, who was then employed in the forcing-houses there. The female parent was Black Morocco, fertilised with Syrian for the purpose of making it set its fruit better, as it is one of those varieties inclined naturally to sterility. By the time the grapes were ripe some of the berries were observed to be of unusual size. From these Mr. Caseley saved seeds, which were sown by him, and produced several plants, the fruit of some being black and others white. Only two were found to be worth cultivating, and one of these is that which is known as Alnwick Seedling. It is called Clive House Seedling from having been first brought into notice by Mr. D. P. Bell, of Clive House, Alnwick, who exhibited it before the Fruit Committee of the Royal Horticultural Society, Dec. 6th, 1876, when it was awarded a first-class certificate under that name.
Amber Muscadine. See Royal Muscadine.
Bunches, medium sized, compact, and shouldered. Berries, about medium size, round. Skin, dark purple, covered with thick blue bloom. Flesh, tender, juicy, richly flavoured, and with a powerful Muscat aroma.
This is a first-rate grape, ripening earlier than Black Hamburgh, and requiring the same treatment. The vine is a strong grower and a free bearer.
It was raised at Angers by M. Vibert.
Bunches, with a long, herbaceous, brittle stalk; large, long, and tapering, and well set. Berries, large, round, with a few that are occasionally inclining to oval. Skin, thick, of a deep black colour, and covered with a dense bloom. Flesh, tender, juicy, melting, rich, and vinous.
A first-rate late grape, which requires artificial heat to bring it to perfection. It hangs very late, and in the months of February and March it is one of the most sprightly flavoured sorts in cultivation. The leaves die pale yellow.
This is extensively cultivated in Languedoc and Provence, on account of its great fertility and the Urge quantity of wine it yields; butthe wine is not of a high character, being principally the via ordinaire of that part of the country. The stalks of the bunches are so brittle that the vintagers do not use a knife when gathering them, but simply break them off with the hand. It delights in a deep alluvial soil.