Winesap apple tree
- Picking season: Late
- Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
- Pollination group: 3
Winesap is a popular southern heirloom apple, widely grown in Virginia in the 19th century.
Winesap apple trees for sale
Semi-dwarf 1-year bare-root tree
Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
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).
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.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
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.
- Gardening skillAverage
- Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
- Pollination group3
- Pollinating othersPoor
- Bearing regularityRegular
- Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
- WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
- Picking seasonLate
- UsesEating freshCulinaryJuice
- Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
- Flavor style (apples)Aromatic
- Cooking resultTextured puree
- General resistanceGood
- FireblightSome susceptibility
- Cedar apple rustVery resistant
- MildewVery resistant
- Cold hardiness (USDA)(5) -20F / -29C
- Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
- Country of originUnited States
- Period of origin1800 - 1849
- Fruit colorOrange / Red