Winegrape Renamed 'Geneva Red'

Cornell University Grape Breed Program bestows name upon New York variety formerly known as 'GR 7'

by Hudson Cattell
geneva red 7 GR
The U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau approved the name Geneva Red for use on wine labels referring to the winegrape formerly dubbed GR-7. Source: Cornell University
Ithaca, N.Y.—A red winegrape variety known as "GR 7" was released Feb. 20, 2003, by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station at the Viticulture 2003 conference in Buffalo, N.Y., and given the name “Abundance.” That name had to be withdrawn because of a trademark infringement claimed by Abundance Vineyards of Sonoma, Calif. Later that year, GR 7 was renamed "Rubiana," but that name also was withdrawn after a winery claimed to have had prior rights to the name. The Agricultural Experiment Station then decided not to try naming it again.

Since 2004, members of the grape and wine industry have asked for GR 7 to be given a more marketable name. The decision has now been made to officially rename the variety "Geneva Red," a name that the U.S. Tax and Trade Bureau already has approved for use on wine labels.

GR 7 was the result of a cross between Buffalo and Baco Noir at the Geneva Station in 1947. It was originally given the number NY34791 but was later called "Geneva Red 7" for ease of identification during field trials, since it was one of a series of red winegrape variety trials (GR 1 – GR 10.)

Two new grape varieties to be released in 2013
The Cornell Grape Breeding Program will release the two new winegrape varieties early next year, and the wine industry has been invited to submit names for consideration. The following is the program’s description of the new varieties:

NY76.0844.24 is a white wine selection, ranks very high for winter hardiness and productivity. The estimated temperature of 50% primary bud kill in mid-winter is -17ºF, and cold damage to trunks is rare. Wine quality is excellent, showing aromatic characters that panelists compare to Gewürztraminer or a citrusy Muscat.

NY95.0301.01 is a red wine selection and is the first introduction to originate from the "no-spray" portion of the Geneva breeding program. It’s highly resistant to both downy and powdery mildews, making it a good choice for sustainable or organic growers. The wine is dark red with little or no hybrid character, and it exhibits moderate body, good structure and blueberry on the palate.

According to Dr. Bruce I. Reisch, director of the Cornell Grape Breeding Program, the current plan is to release the two new varieties during Viticulture 2013, which will be held next February in Rochester, N.Y.

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