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Sops-in-Wine is still sold today because of its novelty value. It dates back to 1832 and its main claim to fame is the cream flesh which is stained red to varying degrees depending on how and where it has been grown.

Not only is the flesh red but the flowers are purple and new foliage has a very distinctive red tinge to it. The inner bark is also reported to be stained red. Good for juicing, salads and an unusually coloured apple crumble.


PARENTAGE OF SOPS-IN-WINE


Not known.

APPEARANCE, TASTE AND CHARACTERISTICS OF SOPS-IN-WINE


The apples are of average size, highly coloured dark red / mahogany on the sun facing side and orange yellow on the shade side. The flesh is mainly cream coloured but stained mid-pink from the centre outwards. The flavour is on the acidic side with the texture being soft and not particularly good. 

To be quite truthful this variety fails as an eater, being surpassed by many other old and new varieties. When cooked the pink flesh maintains its colour but neither forms a puree as a Bramley does nor does it hold its shape particularly well. We haven't tried it but it is reputed to make a passably good juice.

Spartan apple

This is a novelty apple and not one we would recommend you grow unless you have several other apple trees already. But if you do then what a novelty! If you slice it up relatively thinly it can be added to salads and looks really good, it will definitely be a talking point.

As far as cooking goes it performs reasonably well as a crumble and of course the light red colour makes it stand out from the crowd. You get a similar result if you cook a gooseberry crumble using the red gooseberry Hinnonmaki Red. Let's face it, sometimes you may just want something different as far as cooking fruit is concerned and Sops-in Wine does just that.

PRUNING A SOPS-IN-WINE APPLE TREE


Sops-in-Wine has only one special need as far as pruning is concerned so follow our general apple tree pruning guidelines which can be found here

In common with a few other apple tree varieties Sops-in Wine will produce too many apples in some years. This results in smaller apples than is ideal it can also induce the tree into only cropping every other year. The solution is simple, thin the fruits in mid June. As a general rule, thin young fruits so that at maturity 3cm / 1in will be left between each fruit.

Thinning the fruits is an important job with this variety because lots of small fruits mean lots of pips and it takes an apple tree significant energy reserves to produce those pips. It's far better for the health the tree to produce larger but fewer apples.

PESTS AND DISEASES OF SOPS-IN-WINE APPLE TREES


Sops-in-Wine is prone to apple scab, a weakness which is often not mentioned by those companies trying to sell you their trees. Scab is much more prevalent in high rainfall areas so providing good drainage in the surrounding soil is important. You can also reduce the effect of wet weather conditions by pruning with a view to keeping the centre of the tree open.

BUYING A SOPS-IN-WINE APPLE TREE


This is not a variety that you will find in a garden centre or any of the diy stores. It is available in some of the more specialist online fruit tree sites. We would recommend buying it on an MM106 or M26 rootstock in most growing situations.

We would choose Victoriana Nursery as our suppliers, they are specialist in these types of apple tree and have competitive prices and excellent service.

We have negotiated a 10% discount for you with Victoriana Nursery on all trees (and everything else) you buy from them. They are a family run business with a horticultural history dating back to the 1700's. They currently stock Sops-in-Wine if you want to buy one with the 10% discount. If you click the picture below

Victoriana Nursery Gardens 

your 10% discount will automatically be deducted from your shopping basket when you buy anything from them - no need to enter a code, it all happens automatically!

In common with most other apple trees, buying online from a garden centre looks to be the most expensive option although picking up a tree yourself from your local garden centre will give better prices.

SOPS-IN-WINE FLOWERING AND HARVEST TIMES:


The average flowering time (optimum time for pollination) and date when fruits are ripe in the UK for the Sops-in-Wine apple tree are set out below. If you have set your home town we can give you a more accurate estimate, if you have not set your home town (do it now by clicking here) the dates below will be the average for the UK.

Your town has not been set, the average main flowering time for Sops-in-Wine in the UK is the fourth week of April. Fruit will be ready for harvesting in the second week of October. Click here if you want to set the dates to your home town.

Flowering and fruit picking dates vary according to the weather in any particular growing season so the above dates may well change slightly from one year to the next. The flowering date above is when the apple tree produces the maximum number of blossoms, it will also produce blossom, although less, a week or two either side of the date given. Even though flowering times may differ from year to year depending on conditions it will, in general, do the same for all apple varieties.

COMMON POLLINATION PARTNERS FOR SOPS-IN-WINE


Sops-in-Wine is in pollination group 3, self-sterile and needs a pollination partner to produce a reasonable crop of fruit. This variety is a very good pollinator of other apple trees. Suitable pollination varieties include the following:
  • Arthur Turner - pollination group 3, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Bountiful - pollination group 3, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Braeburn - pollination group 4, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Charles Ross - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker and eater
     
  • Court of Wick - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eater and cooker
     
  • Devonshire Quarrenden - pollination group 2, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Egremont Russet - pollination group 2, partially self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Discovery - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eating and cider
     
  • Dumelow's Seedling - pollination group 4, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Ellison's Orange - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Emneth Early - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Epicure  - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Falstaff - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Fiesta - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Gala - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Golden Delicious - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Granny Smith - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Greensleeves - pollination group 2, self-fertile, eater, cooker, juice
     
  • Grenadier - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Honeycrisp - pollination group 4, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Howgate Wonder - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker and eater
     
  • James Grieve - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker and eater
     
  • Katy - pollination group 3, self-sterile, both
     
  • Kidds Orange Red - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eater
     
  • King of The Pippins - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Lanes Prince Albert - pollination group 4, self-sterile, cooking
     
  • Laxtons Fortune - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Laxtons Superb - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Lord Derby - pollination group 4, self-sterile, cooker
     
  • Lord Lambourne - pollination group 2, self-fertile, eater and cooker
     
  • Newton Wonder - pollination group 4, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Peasgoods Nonsuch - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, cooker
     
  • Rajka - pollination group 4, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Red Falstaff - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, eater
     
  • Scrumptious - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Spartan - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Sunset - pollination group 3, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Tydemans Late Orange - pollination group 4, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Waltz - pollination group 3, self-sterile, eater
     
  • Winston - pollination group 4, self-fertile, eater
     
  • Worcester Pearmain - pollination group 3, partially self-fertile, eater

SUMMARY CHARACTERISTICS OF SOPS-IN-WINE



USE: Juicing, cider

SKIN COLOUR / TEXTURE: Deep red on the sun side, orange on the shade side

FLESH COLOUR: Cream stained pink

TASTE AND TEXTURE: Slightly acidic

FRUIT SIZE: Average

STORAGE: Two weeks

SUITABILITY FOR CORDON / ESPALIER GROWTH: Yes

TREE SIZE: Slightly larger than average depending on rootstock and conditions

REGULARITY OF CROPPING: Very regular but can miss a year if fruits are not thinned.

POLLINATION: Group 3, self-sterile, needs a suitable pollination partner. Good at pollinating other varieties

AWARDS: None

SPECIAL FEATURES: The pink stained flesh

The full list of apple tree varieties which we have reviewed is listed below. Select any one of them and then click the "More Information" button to be taken to the in depth review: