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Pollination group:

Sops in Wine

Synonyms: Bell's Favorite, Bell’s Early, Bennington, Dodge's Early Red, Early Washington, Hominy, Sapson, Sapsonvine, Shropshire Vine, Sops of Wine, Sops on Wine, Warden's Pie Apple, Washington.

Summary: A red-fleshed English cider and culinary apple that dates back to the early Renaissance.

Identification: Medium to large size, tending to conical in shape and vaguely angular. Skin base colour is green yellow washed with rich red or maroon wash and striped with lighter red. Abundantly marked with tiny lenticels. The smooth, glossy skin usually develops a pale bloom when it ripens. The stem is short and set in a deep cavity. The calyx is closed and set in a shallow basin.

Characteristics: The yellow flesh is often stained pink. Tender and somewhat dry, but very sweet and aromatic.

Uses: Baking and cider.

Origins: Believed to have originated in Britain in the early 1600s. Earliest documentation of this apple appears to be by John Parkinson in his "Paradisi in Sole" (published in 1629) in which he stated "Sops in wine is so named both of the pleasantnesse of the fruit, and beautie of the apple." In 1758 by Johann Knoop listed it as the "Rode Wyn Appel." It was also listed by British pomologist, Robert Hogg in his "The Apple and Pear as Vintage Fruits" (published in 1886) with the comment "It is considered a good culinary and cider fruit." American pomologist S.A. Beach "The Apple of New York" (published in 1905) also makes mention of it, describing it as "A very ancient English culinary and cider apple." There seems to be no record of its parentage.

Cultivation: Moderately vigorous, upright spreading tree. Bears fruit on spurs. Precocious.

Ploidism: Diploid. Self sterile.

Mutations: Pendragon . Red flesh, more colour.

Notes: The name Sops of Wine and its derivations stem from the appearance of the apple when it is cut open, revealing reddish/pink spots which look like drops of wine that have fallen on it.

16 weeks

Cold storage: Keeps up to four months.

Harvest: Starting in the middle of the fourth period.

Harvest period: 4

Type(s): Cider

Pollination group: C

Pollination day: 8