Fairhaven has expanded its famous collection to include all five of the existing types of Lenoir. These types are the original Lenoir (Black Spanish or more correctly the Blue French), the Favorite (a hybrid of Herbemont and Lenoir), the Herbemont (the Brown French), the Jaquez, and the Rulander (Lousinana Bourquiniana).
This extraordinary group of vines is divided into two subclasses, the Type “A”, represented by the Lenoir, the Jaquez, the Herbemont, and the Favorite. This group is characterized by its deeply lobed leaves and larger compound clusters.
Recent DNA testing has shown the Jaquez to be synonymous with the Lenoir but retains an important historical significance due its dispersal from the European continent. Fairhaven has preserved the pure genetic line originally sourced from France in the 1800’s.
The Rulander is the only known survivor of the “B” Type Lenoir. It differs from the “A” Type by having foliage that is shouldered (only slightly lobed), and simple clusters.
The field trials conducted at Fairhaven over the last four years have revealed that the Rulander is capable of producing juice chemistry that is slightly better than the standard Lenoir, and displays greatly improved resistance to pathogen attacks on the fruit clusters. Rulander’s heat, drought tolerance is in line with the rest of this genetic group. It is also highly tolerant of Pierces Disease.
We feel that this rare vine has a bright future for production of quality juice in the more humid regions such as those in south Texas, Lousinana, and the rest of the Deep South.
Fairhaven has begun aggressive production of the Rulander and we hope to have the vine available in good numbers by mid-2016.