History: Winesap's origins are unclear but it is believed to have originated from New Jersey pre-1800s where it was popular for making cider. It is first mentioned in a couple of books on apples in the early 1800s. Winesap was popular in the US until the 1950s due to its good keeping ability but the advent of better storage technology allowed better tasting apple varieties to eclipse it. It is still somewhat popular as a garden tree.
Why We Grow It: Winesap's all-purpose nature helps to explain why it hasn't faded into total obscurity like some other varieties. The medium-large red and yellow skinned fruit is good for cooking and making cider. It has sweet flesh with some tang or 'winey' flavour that is also decent for fresh eating. On top of that, the tree is productive, very resistant to fireblight, and the fruit stores well.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Moderately vigorous, slow to start bearing fruit but has reliable and heavy crops once it does. Susceptible to water core and very susceptible to scab but very resistant to mildew and fireblight.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Triploid, requires two pollinators of different non-triploid apple varieties that bloom around the same time
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Late October
Storage: Keeps until April when stored in cold storage
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking, cider
- Class: Sharp
- Sugar: Medium, SG 1.055
- Acidity: Medium to high, TA ~7 g/L
- Tannins: Medium to low, <2 g/L
Taste: Wine-like quality with flavours reminiscent of tart apple, lemon, and pear.
- Recommendations: Makes a nice single-variety cider and can be used as a base for blends where it adds acidity
Size including roots:
- 1 year grade 100-200 cm whip
- 2 year grade 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- B grade less than 100 cm
- Potted: 100cm+ with branches in a 5 gallon pot
NOTE: Potted plants are not available for shipping!
*Information based on anecdotal evidence