Thursday, October 22, 2020

History of Thompson seedless grape

Originally called “Sultanina”, Thompson seedless is thought to have originated in Persia in Asia Minor, in an area that now makes up parts of Iran and Turkey. It has been carried from region to region by civilized man in all temperate climates, and has been grown more recently in subtropical climates.

Between 120 and 900 BC the Phoenicians started vineyards in Spain and Greece. Concurrently the Armenians founded vineyards in present day Turkey, Iran and Iraq.

Seedless grape further named for William Thompson, the first person to grow the seedless grapes in California around the return of the twentieth century.

Its use spread throughout Asia Minor, the Mediterranean, northern Africa and then to Europe and it was from Europe that it came to America, South Africa and Australia.

It was bought by the Spaniards to Mexico and areas now occupied by California and Arizona. English settlers brought the Old-World grape with them and made plantings along the Atlantic seaboard in the colonies of Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Virama North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia.

The variety of seedless grape was introduced into California in 1872 by William Thompson of Yuba City. Thompson acquired cuttings from the Elwanger and Barry nursery of Rochester, New York which described the variety as a grape from Constantinople grown in English hothouses under the varietal name ‘Lady De Coverly’.

The variety was quickly accepted by local planters, who misnamed it ‘Thompson Seedless’, an appellation that remained with it throughout its development and use in California. The variety’s mostly accepted name in the literature in ‘Sultanina,’ a derivation of ‘Sultanieh.’ These seedless grapes would eventually dominate fresh sales as well as raisin production.

By the 1840s, railways link made possible to ship grapes from southern states to northern states, making grapes available for a longer time in the summer. By 1880s, table grapes were commonly shipped from California to eastern markets.

Era before 1876. when Thompson seedless grapes were first introduced, the grape industry had been limited by the very tedious process of seeding the common muscat raisin. By introduction of seedless grape, the industry flourished.
History of Thompson seedless grape