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, with short, thick stalks, not shouldered, thickly set. Berries, large, roundish oval. Skin, thin, black, or dark purple, covered with fine thin bloom. Flesh, tender, but somewhat firm, very juicy, rich, and sweet; having rarely any seeds, or more than one.
This is about a fortnight earlier than Black Hamburgh in the same house, and always colours better and more freely than that variety; the berry is also more oval, and the wood shorter jointed. Ripens in a cool vinery.
In bis excellent monograph, Vines and Vine Culture, Mr. Barron has, no doubt, inadvertently made Black Champion synonymous with Mill Hill Hamburgh. This and Mill Hill Hamburgh are sometimes called Champion Hamburgh, and hence the one is often mistaken for the other. They are, however, very distinct kinds, and can easily be distinguished, for the berries of Black Champion are oval, while those of Mill Hill Hamburgh are round and sometimes oblate. The foliage of the latter is also paler, and appears flaccid when hanging on the vine.
It was introduced about the year 1840 by Sir John Mordaunt, of Walton Hall, near Stratford-on-Avon, and was first propagated for sale by Mr. John Butcher, of Stratford-on-Avon. I strongly suspect that this is identical with San Antonio, a very fine grape.
Black Chasselas. See Black Muscadine.
Bunches, small, very compact, cylindrical, and occasionally shouldered. Berries, generally oval, inclining to roundish. Skin, thin, blue-black, covered with blue bloom. Flesh, juicy, sweet, and richly flavoured.
Ripens well against a wall in the open air, and is one of the best for this purpose. The bunches are larger than those of Miller's Burgundy.
This is one of the varieties most extensively cultivated for wine on the Rhine and the Moselle, and it also furnishes the greater part of the Champagne and Burgundy wines.
Black Constantia. See Purple Constantia.
Bunches, compact, small, and short. Berries, small and round, not larger than a pea, with some larger ones interspersed. Skin, thin, black, and covered with blue bloom. Flesh, juicy, sweet, richly flavoured, and without seeds.
It produces small, insignificant bunches and berries, and though the fruit is of good flavour, it is a variety which is grown more for curiosity than for any merit it possesses. It requires the heat of a vinery.
It is from the Black Corinth that the "currants " of the grocers are produced, and "currant" is merely a corruption of corinth. It is extensively grown in Zante and Cephalonia, and the fruit when gathered is simply dried on the ground in the sun, and this accounts for the presence of small stones and earth found in grocers' currants, necessitating their being washed before they are used.