In 2003, the Cornell University Grapevine Breeding Program released a red wine grape known as ‘GR 7’. The name stood for “Geneva Red” as it was one of a series of red wine grapes (GR 1 to GR 8) from the Geneva Experiment Station to be extensively tested during the 1960s and 1970s. Since it was targeted primarily for blending wine production at the time of its release, it was simply given the official name ‘GR 7’, as it had been known since its initial release. Since its release, members of the grape and wine industry have asked for a more marketable name to be applied to ‘GR 7’ because the name ‘GR 7’ causes confusion among consumers not accustomed to abbreviated names, and since even with
blends, wineries often list the names of varieties used on the back of the label. In response to the requests we’ve received, we have therefore decided to simply rename ‘GR 7’ officially as ‘Geneva Red’. The United States Tax and Trade Bureau has approved the name ‘Geneva Red’ for use on wine labels. Information on viticulture performance for ‘Geneva Red’ can be found here.
Growers or wineries that have questions about ‘Geneva Red’, should direct them to Bruce Reisch (viticultural aspects) [email protected], or to the Wine Analysis Lab (enological aspects) [email protected]. If you would like to acquire a license to propagate and sell this Cornell University variety, please contact Jessica Lyga [email protected] at the Cornell University Center for Technology Enterprise Commercialization.
Grape Breeding Program
The Cornell University Grapevine Breeding and Genetics Program at Geneva specializes in the development of new wine and table grape varieties suitable for cold climates. Since 1980, it has released eleven new grape varieties — eight wine and three seedless table grapes. Additionally, new grape breeding techniques that improve wine quality, disease resistance and cold tolerance have been developed and used to complement a traditional breeding program. Additional information on the Cornell University grape breeding program can be found here.
Bruce Reisch is a professor and geneticist at Cornell University responsible for breeding grape varieties.