Miss Blanc is a white French-American hybrid bunch grape that was released by Mississippi State University in 1982 by J.P Overcash, C.P. Hegwood Jr., and B.J. Stojanovic. It is grown for its usefulness as a mild flavored white wine that has been judged intermediate in quality. Vines are moderately vigorous and productive with medium to large clusters that fully mature in late July to mid-August. While it is susceptible to anthracnose and black rot, it has good tolerance to Pierce’s disease.
Origins and History
Miss Blanc, originally tested as MS 26-4D, was bred by N.H. Loomis at the USDA Horticultural Field Station in Meridian, Mississippi, but it was given to Mississippi State University and released by J.P. Overcash, C.P. Hegwood Jr., and B.J. Stojanovic in 1982. Miss Blanc originated from the cross, Galibert-Coulondre 261-12 x seedling of Extra x Marguerite, and contains Vitis lincecumii, V. labrusca, V. vinifera, V. bourquiniana, V. berlandieri, and V. rupestris in its lineage.
Miss Blanc has self-fertile flowers, and it is a moderately vigorous and productive vine that may benefit from grafting onto nematode resistant rootstock in sandier soils. When given good vineyard management and a thorough fungicide spray program, primarily for anthracnose (Elsinoe ampelina (de Bary) Shear) and black rot (Phyllosticta ampelicida (Engelm.) Aa), vines have shown the ability to thrive for up to nine years in areas where other vines (such as Aurora, Baco noir, Chancellor, Concord, and others) have died from Pierce’s disease (Xylella fastidiosa subsp. fastidiosa Wells et al.). Within those first nine years of growth, yields as high as 61 pounds per vine have been reported. Clusters are medium in size with medium to large white-green colored berries, and they ripen in late July to mid-August in Central and South Mississippi.
In Mississippi, Miss Blanc vines are trained to a bilateral cordon system and spur pruned. They are spaced 10 feet between rows and 7 feet between vines, and they are currently grown in USDA cold hardiness zones 8a and 8b. This cultivar is grown throughout the Gulf South region, but only on a small scale.
When ripe, Miss Blanc berries are not particularly firm, nor are they susceptible to splitting compared to other cultivars. The berries have a sweet, mild, and pleasant flavor that are intermediate in total soluble solid content, and they are capable of producing juice with high stilbene content. They are also useful for making white wine, which, in Mississippi, was judged intermediate in quality. Because of its mild flavor, it may be useful in blending to moderate acidity and tannin content of southern wines.
Overcash, J.P., C.P. Hegwood, and B.J. Stojanovic. 1982. ‘Miss Blanc’ a new bunch grape cultivar. Miss. Ag. & For. Expt. Sta. Bull. No. 909.
Overcash, J.P., C.P. Hegwood, and B.J. Stojanovic. 1982. ‘Miss Blanc’ a new bunch grape cultivar. Miss. State Univ. Bul. 909:1-5.
Mortensen, J.A. 1987. Grape cultivar choices for wine, juice, jelly, or fresh fruit. Proc. Viniculture Short Course Miss. State Univ. 2:10-14.
Leblanc, M.R., C.E. Johnson, and P.W. Wilson. 2008. Influence of pressing method on juice stilbene content in muscadine and bunch grapes. J. Food Sci. 73:H58-H62.
Brooks, R.M. and H.P. Olmo. 1983. Register of new fruit and nut varieties list 33. HortScience 18:155-161.