Blanc du Bois
‘Blanc du Bois’ is a white hybrid grape cross developed by Dr. John A. Mortensen at the University of Florida’s Central Florida Research and Education Center (Leesburg, FL) in 1968. In Mortenson’s original release document, he indicated three descriptors of significance for ‘Blanc du Bois’: (1) early ripening; (2) grows well on its own roots (though rootstocks may be necessary on some soils and for nematodes); and of greatest significance, (3) resistance to Pierce’s disease. In addition, and also of major importance, ‘Blanc du Bois’ has very good wine making qualities. It was named in recognition of Emile DuBois, an immigrant from France to Florida, who planted >150 grape cultivars in the Tallahassee area and produced award-winning wines in his time. ‘Blanc du Bois’ is considered one of the best southeastern cultivars for premium wine due to its balanced flavor and resistances to both Pierce’s disease, phyllozera, and powdery mildew. It grows vigorously with a semi-erect growth pattern and produces medium-sized clusters with large berries. ‘Blanc du Bois’ ripens mid to late July in areas of Georgia west of Atlanta and will yield 1.8-4.5 metric tons (2-5 tons) per acre with good viticultural practices. It is grown throughout the Southeast but is most common in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. Though well adapted to the southeastern climate, it is still highly susceptible to anthracnose. The soluble solids content is on average lower than Vitis vinifera cultivars.