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Marquis - Seedless

Mother: Athens (a blue seeded V. Labruscana grape, is a cross of Hubbard x Portland which originated in 1938 from the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station.)
Father: Emerald Seedless (a white seedless V. vinifera cultivar, originated in 1968 from the University of California, Davis, as a cross of Emperor x Pirovano 75 (Sultana Muscata).)

Year of breeding: 1964, named and released in 1996: known originally as NY 64.029.01.
Country of origin: USA: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University, Geneva, NY 14456.

Marquis is a mid-season, white seedless grape with large, spherical berries borne on large clusters. It has excellent flavour, good cold hardiness, and is best suited for home gardens and self-pick commercial operations.

Seventeen vines were grown from seed in 1968 and transplanted to a permanent vineyard site (Lucey Farm, Sutton Road, Geneva, New York) on May 5, 1969. Fruit were first observed in 1974 and the original vine was vegetatively propagated from hardwood cuttings for further testing in 1980.

Own-rooted vines grown in phylloxera infested soils are productive and moderately vigorous. Pruning weights averaged between 1.1 and 1.4 kg cane prunings in 1994 and 1995 in southwestern Michigan (Benton Harbor, MI). Between 1991 and 1995, yields ranged from approximately 4.9 to 12.4 tons/acre, more than twice the yield of Himrod. Since vines have been adequately vigorous on their own roots, they have not been tested on commercial rootstocks. However, due to the vinifera-labrusca (non-phylloxera resistant) ancestry of Marquis, vines should be tested on a phylloxera resistant rootstock in areas with severe phylloxera pressure.

The vines are moderately winter hardy at Geneva and trunk injury has not been observed through the end of 1995. Bud cold hardiness ranks at least with Himrod and other relatively cold hardy seedless grapes. In April 1990, Marquis had 4% shootless nodes, while Himrod had 18%, Canadice 11%, Einset Seedless 19% and Chardonnay 60% shootless nodes. In May 1989, Marquis had 18% shootless nodes, while Himrod had 17%, Canadice 29%, Einset Seedless 17% and Lakemont 81%.

Bud burst in the springtime occurs with or slightly after Concord. Flowers of Marquis are perfect, self-fertile, and bloom in mid-season. Clusters are shouldered, large and moderately loose with large (3.0 to 5.0 gm), amber, spherical berries. In Michigan, berry weight is significantly greater than that of Himrod. Mean berry weight in Arkansas was 5.4 gm in an irrigated research vineyard. Cluster weight ranges from 272 to 608 gm at Geneva, NY, and 208 to 440 gm at Benton Harbor, MI. Over a four-year period, cluster weights in Michigan averaged 245 gm on 40 node vines, and 390 gm on 40 node vines which were flower cluster thinned, comparing favorably to Himrod. Very little crop is borne on secondary, tertiary and base buds, yet cluster thinning is required due to the large cluster size.

Marquis ripens between 15 and 30 September in Geneva, NY. The flavour is very mild Labrusca, but it develops a richer American flavour if left to ripen another 5 to 10 days. The skin is thick, flesh is melting and very juicy and the seed traces are medium in size and soft. The skin softens as the berries continue to ripen. Clusters are highly sensitive to gibberellic acid application which causes berry drop and distorted, thickened rachises. Trials in New York suggest that cane girdling and flower cluster thinning can be used effectively to increase cluster compactness. In addition, flower cluster thinning results in an increase in berry weight. Juice soluble solids range between 14 and 19 Brix when ripe, and the acidity is very low, 3.6 grams/liter (at 18.6 Brix) in south-western Michigan in 1995.

Foliage and fruit are moderately susceptible to powdery mildew, downy mildew and black rot, but moderately resistant to Botrytis bunch rot. Heavy rainfall during the ripening period may result in skin cracking at the distal end of the berry.

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