Rubinette apple trees

  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh
  • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3

If you want to grow the best-tasting apple in the world, this is probably it. This unassuming apple has perhaps the most remarkable flavor of any variety. The balance between sweetness and sharpness is often a good indicator of flavor quality in apples - and in Rubinette that balance is close to perfection.

Most people who try Rubinette agree it is the best apple they have ever eaten - here is a selection of the tasting notes from our sister website about Rubinette:

"Undoubtedly the best tasting variety we grow …"

"Rubinettes are, by far, the tastiest apples I have ever eaten."

"... the most delicious apple I have had in years."

" ... a wonderful little apple."

"Crisp-juicy-flavorsome-tart - the most tasty apple we have had for years."

"... by far the tastiest apple variety I've tried in a long time."

"Extreme summer heat did not bother it and the flavor and crunch were outstanding."

"... the best apples I have eaten."

"... spent a couple of hours tasting a huge variety of apples, and we all kept coming back to Rubinette."

"This apple is a revelation ..."

Although it is a cross between Cox's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious, the depth and subtlety of Rubinette's flavor comes almost entirely from Cox's Orange Pippin.

Rubinette apple trees for sale

Mature height*
1-year Rubinette apple trees bare-root
G.11 rootstock
Small (6ft-9ft) mature height
1-year Rubinette apple trees bare-root
G.30 rootstock
Medium (8ft-12ft) mature height
Out of stock

*Find out more about the apple rootstocks we use to control the mature height.

How to grow

The main issue with Rubinette is its tendency to produce a large quantity of small apples. This is easily addressed by thinning the fruitlets in late spring just after the blossom finishes - allow no more than 1 fruit per set of blossoms. An unusual feature of Rubinette is that fruit size usually improves as the tree gets older, with good size being achieved about 3 years after planting.

Rubinette can be grown with some success without any chemical treatments (we do ourselves) but spraying against scab (using either conventional or organic pesticides) should give better results in wetter climates. Keep the ground around the tree free from grass and use a mulch to suppress weeds. Religiously clear up all old fruit and fruitlets to deny pests and diseases a home over winter.

Rubinette is a good choice for apple enthusiasts in warmer areas of North America who have not been able to achieve satisfactory results growing Cox's Orange Pippin. Rubinette performs much better than Cox in warmer climates, including southern California. However it is equally at home in cooler temperate climates and can be grown anywhere that Cox can be grown.

Most growers also find that Rubinette maintains a consistently high quality flavor every year, regardless of the weather.

Historical details

Rubinette was developed in the mid-20th century by Walter Hauenstein, a grower from Rafz in Switzerland (hence it is sometimes known as Rafzubin). It is a marriage of two of the world's greatest apple varieties - Cox's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious.

Hauenstein was originally hoping to produce an "improved" Golden Delicious, but as it turned out Rubinette inherited almost all its characteristics from Cox's Orange Pippin. It is an essential variety for Cox enthusiasts.

Rubinette characteristics


  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh
  • Cropping: Light
  • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
  • Flavor quality: Exceptional
  • Flavor style (apples): Sweet/Sharp
  • Discoloring: Oxidising
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
  • Vitamin C content: Low


  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3
  • Pollinating others: Average
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Weak growing
  • Bearing regularity: Regular
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer

Disease resistance

  • General resistance: Poor
  • Fireblight: Some susceptibility
  • Mildew: Some susceptibility
  • Scab: Some susceptibility


  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (4) -30F / -34C
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F) Warm (25C - 30C / 76F - 85F)
  • Frost resistance of blossom: Some resistance


  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999
  • Fruit color: Orange flush