Vitis Labrusca

Definition - What does Vitis Labrusca mean?

In the context of wine grape vine species, Vitis Labrusca is a native grape vine of North America and a member of the family "Vitaceae". Vitis Labrusca is the family species of the Concord, Onaka, Niagara, Alexandria and Catawba grapes. Vines from the Vitis Labrusca are known for their distinctive tendrils and the grapes are known for their slip-skin, which makes the pressing the grapes for juice easier.

WineFrog explains Vitis Labrusca

Cataloged and identified in the 1800’s by Carl Linnaeus, Vitis Labrusca, has probably been growing wild in North America for centuries. Leif Ericsson described a distinctive tendril vine along the coast in the 11th century. Unlike hybrids or imported vines, Vitis Labrusca is particularly well suited for the extreme seasons of North America, and as a result, the Concord grape became an important agriculture crop for wine, juice, jelly and use in other food and beverage products.

While the majority of the wine grape varietals of Vitis Labrusca are red, there are notable exceptions in the white Niagara grape and the slightly pink-hued Catawba. Vitis Labrusca grapes are high in phenolic compounds, which results in intensely flavored wines and are known to have strong odors of musk and aroma not typically associated with grapes. The musky aroma of Vitis Labrusca wines is very earthy and sweet and is most pronounced in the Concord and Niagara varietals.

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