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The "Island Belle" Story
"Island Belle"is a light-bodied hybrid grape (vitis labrusca), also known as Campbell's Early. The Grape made its debut around 1890 on Stretch Island located in Grapeview, Washington along the shore line of South Puget Sound.
The "Island Belle" is a concord type vine that was cross breed with native American vines from New York. After a lot of experimenting, the "Island Belle" became well suited to the vineyards on Stretch Island. The new Hybrid soon became the most widely planted variety in the Puget Sound area.
The "Island Belle" grape got its name from a descendant of the Eckert Family. The tale I heard was that an exceptionally lovely young Lottie Eckert attended a dance on the Island and was considered the "Belle of the Ball". Shortly after the dance the family went to the Pacific Grape Grows Association Convention in San Francisco.
Mr. Eckert, the grape grower, was scheduled to speak at the conference and was to introduce his new strain of grape, but did not have a name for his the new grape.
The story goes that while the family was having dinner, one of the younger daughters drank too much champagne, thinking it was grape juice, and got ... more
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