Winesap apple trees

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

Probably the most well-known and well-regarded of all antique southern apples, Winesap is a useful addition to the home orchard because of its reliable cropping and good keeping properties.

Winesap is a notably crisp dense apple, and gets its name from the wine-like flavor when eaten fresh.

However first and foremost this is an apple variety for the kitchen, where its strong tart spicy flavor makes it a good base for traditional apple pies. Winesap can be used in recipes which require apples which keep their shape when cooked, but it breaks down quite easily and also works in recipes where a softer texture is required. Winesap is also a very good choice for juicing.

We sometimes have the Stayman Winesap as well, strictly speaking it is a different variety (it is thought to be a seedling of Winesap).

Winesap apple trees for sale

Mature height*
1-year Winesap apple trees bare-root
G.11 rootstock
Small (6ft-9ft) mature height

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

How to grow

Winesap is easy to grow and has a reputation for being productive even on poor soils or bad years. Harvest is late September in the southern states.

The main thing to be aware of when growing Winesap is that it is a poor pollinator of other varieties. Paradoxically, its red-colored blossom is very attractive. Note that the Stayman form is triploid and will not pollinate other varieties (and needs two other apple trees of different varieties nearby for its own pollination).

Like most heavy-cropping apple varieties, fruit-size can be improved by thinning the fruitlets in June.

Disease resistance is good, particularly against cedar apple rust (CAR) and fireblight.

Winesap is a southern apple but grows well in the northern states too.

Historical details

USA 18th century. Winesap was grown commercially in Virginia during the 19th century and into the 20th century and it is often known as Virginia Winesap as a result.

Stayman's Winesap was raised in the Dr Stayman of Leavenworth, Kansas in the 1860s. It is thought to be a Winesap seedling.

Winesap characteristics


  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh Cooking Juice
  • Cropping: Good
  • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
  • Flavor quality: Very good
  • Flavor style (apples): Aromatic
  • Cooking result: Textured puree
  • Discoloring: Very oxidising (browns quickly)
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening


  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Vigour: Average vigour
  • Precocity: Slow to start bearing
  • Bearing regularity: Regular
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer


  • Disease resistance: Good
  • Cedar apple rust: Very resistant
  • Fireblight: Some susceptibility
  • Mildew: Very resistant


  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (5) -20F / -29C
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F) Warm (25C - 30C / 76F - 85F)


  • Country of origin: United States
  • Period of origin: 1800 - 1849
  • Fruit color: Orange / Red