Rondo is a dark-skinned grape variety, used for making red wine. It is a hybrid grape or inter-specific crossing. It was created in 1964 by Professor Vilém Kraus in then-Czechoslovakia by crossing the varieties Zarya Severa (a hybrid which has Vitis amurensis in its pedigree) and St. Laurent. He offered it to Dr. Helmut Becker (1927-1990) of the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute who conducted further work on it, which explains why the grape is known under a Geisenheim designation. The variety has been protected since 1997, when it was first planted commercially by Thomas Walk Vineyard in Ireland under the name Amurensis Walk; it was named Rondo in 1999.
This very early maturing variety possesses high resistance against winter frost and downy mildew from its Asiatic Vitis amurensisparent. However annual treatments against powdery mildew may still be necessary in the vineyards. Rondo produces a ruby-red wine which is also used for blending. Rondo is cultivated in many locations in northern Europe where dark-skinned Vitis vinifera varieties are difficult to ripen properly, as it tends to yield good colour and aroma even in those locations. Rondo is cultivated in Rheinhessen and in many locations in northern Europe including Denmark, England, Ireland, the Netherlands and Sweden.
Rondo is quite widely cultivated throughout the UK with over 100 vineyards as far north as Fife and as far south as Jersey.
Red, Ruby Red