Gravenstein (Danish: "Gråsten-Æble") is a variety of apple native to Gråsten in South Jutland, Denmark. The variety was discovered in 1669 as a chance seedling, although there is some evidence that the variety originated in Italy and traveled north. Fact|date=February 2007

Description and growing conditions

. It does not keep well, so it is available only in season. In addition, their short stems and variable ripening times make harvesting and selling difficult.

The skin is a delicately waxy yellow-green with crimson spots and reddish lines, but the apple may also occur in a classically red variation.

These red apples, commonly known as Red Gravensteins, are considered a sport rather than a true variety. The flesh is juicy, finely grained, and light yellow. Full-size trees have a strong branching structure; the wood is brownish-red and the leaves are large, shiny, and dark green. It grows best in moderate, damp, loamy soil with minimal soil drying during the summer months. Locations close to watercourses and edges of ponds are preferred. Gravensteins will not thrive in areas of high groundwater and require moderate protection against wind. The plant is a triploid variety. It requires pollination from another variety, but will not itself return the favour.

Areas of production

In Austria, Gravensteins are used for the production of high-quality brandy (Obstler) that is particularly popular in the southern Steiermark).

In Denmark Food Minister Hans Christian Schmidt proclaimed the Gravenstein to be the "national apple" on 18 September 2005, although its market share has since decreased in relation to imported apples.

In the United States, they are found most widely on the west coast, and in particular, around the Sonoma County, California, town of Sebastopol. Luther Burbank praised the apple, "It has often been said that if the Gravenstein could be had throughout the year, no other apple need be grown."

During the first half of the 20th century, Gravensteins were the major variety of apples grown in western Sonoma County, and were the source for apple sauce and dried apples for the U.S. troops in World War II. Most of the orchards in Sonoma County are now gone due to a combination of suburban development, a shift to wine production, and economic changes in the apple industry. Only six commercial growers and one commercial processor remain in Sonoma County as of 2006. In 2005, Slow Food USA declared the Gravenstein apple a heritage food and included it in their Ark of taste. Slow Food USA reports that production in Sonoma County is currently 750,000 boxes (15,000 tons) of Gravensteins a year; a third of the fruit (250,000 boxes) is of premium market quality.


The Gravenstein was introduced to western North America in the early 19th century, perhaps by Russian fur traders, who are said to have planted a tree at Fort Ross in 1811. The Gravenstein apple was introduced to the Canadian province of Nova Scotia in the 19th century. Charles Rammage Prescott, the father of the Nova Scotian apple industry, grew Nova Scotia's first Gravensteins in his orchard at Acacia Grove. By 1859, Gravenstein trees were commonly cultivated on Nova Scotian farms. The Gravenstein apple is still considered the choicest apple by many Nova Scotians.

External links

* [ Slow Food USA]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gravenstein — Gra ven*stein , n. [So called because it came from Gravenstein, a place in Schleswig. Downing.] A kind of fall apple, marked with streaks of deep red and orange, and of excellent flavor and quality. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gravenstein — steht für Gråsten, Ort in Dänemark Schloss Gravenstein, Dänemark Siehe auch Gravensteiner Grafenstein Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gravenstein — [grav′ən stēn΄, grä′vənstēn΄; grav′ənstīn΄, grä′vənstīn΄] n. 〚after Gravenstein, village in Denmark〛 a variety of large, yellow apple with red streaks * * * Gra·ven·stein (grāʹvən stēn ) n. A variety of all purpose apple having a red streaked… …   Universalium

  • Gravenstein — apple variety, 1821, from Gravenstein, German form of the name of a village (Dan. Graasten) in Schleswig Holstein …   Etymology dictionary

  • Gravenstein — [grav′ən stēn΄, grä′vənstēn΄; grav′ənstīn΄, grä′vənstīn΄] n. [after Gravenstein, village in Denmark] a variety of large, yellow apple with red streaks …   English World dictionary

  • Gravenstein — Gravenstein, Flecken im Amte Apenrade (Herzogthum Schleswig); 450 Ew.; Obstbau (Gravensteiner Äpfel). Das Schloß wurde am 1. Juni 1848 von den Dänen u. im April 1849 von den Deutschen besetzt, jetzt Ökonomiegebäude …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Gravenstein — Gravenstein, Flecken im preuß. Regbez. Schleswig, Kreis Apenrade, unweit des Nübeler Noor, einer Bucht des Flensburger Busens, Knotenpunkt der Staatsbahnlinie Pattburg Sonderburg und der Kleinbahn Apenrade G., hat eine evang. Kirche, ein… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gravenstein — Gravenstein, Flecken im preuß. Reg. Bez. Schleswig, (1900) 1489 E., Schloß, Seebad am Nübeler Moor; berühmter Obstbau (Gravensteiner Äpfel) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gravenstein — Pommes Gravenstein Fruit et feuilles …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gravenstein — …   Useful english dictionary

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