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Norton








(AEstivalis, Labrusca)

Norton is one of the leading wine-grapes in eastern America, the fruit
having small value for any other purpose than wine or, possibly,
grape-juice. The vine is hardy but requires a long, warm season to
reach maturity so that it is seldom grown successfully north of the
Potomac. Norton thrives in rich alluvial clays, gravels or sands, the
only requisite seemingly being a fair amount of fertility and soil
warmth. The vines are robust; very productive, especially on fertile
soils; as free, or more so, from fungal diseases as any other of our
native grapes; and are very resistant to phylloxera. The bunches are
of but medium size and the berries are small. The grapes are pleasant
eating when fully ripe, rich, spicy and pure-flavored but tart if not
quite ripe. The variety is difficult to propagate from cuttings and to
transplant, and the vines do not bear grafts well. The origin of
Norton is uncertain, but it has been under cultivation since before
1830, when it was first described.

Vine very vigorous, healthy, half-hardy, productive. Canes long,
thick, dark brown with abundant bloom; nodes much enlarged;
internodes long; tendrils intermittent, occasionally continuous,
long, bifid, sometimes trifid. Leaves large, irregularly round;
upper surface pale green, dull, rugose; lower surface pale green,
pubescent; leaf usually not lobed with terminus acute; petiolar
sinus deep, narrow, sometimes closed and overlapping; basal sinus
usually absent; lateral sinus shallow or a mere notch when
present. Flowers self-fertile, late; stamens upright.

Fruit late, keeps well. Clusters medium in size, short, broad,
tapering, single-shouldered, compact; pedicel slender with a few
warts; brush dull, wine-colored. Berries small, round-oblate,
black, glossy with heavy bloom, persistent, soft; skin thin, free
with much dark red pigment; flesh green, translucent, juicy,
tender, spicy, tart. Seeds free, two to six, small, brown.





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Previous: Northern Muscadine



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