Farmington Grape Library

Seeded Grape Varieties for the Pacific Northwest

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All text of grape varieties lifted from Lon Rombough in his words. I worked for Lon from 2006 to January 30, 2012 when he passed away from heart failure. Over the 5-6 years I apprenticed under him, I dug blackberries; year after year, week after week, I dug blackberries. The end result was an intimate knowledge of grapes, their growing conditions, and vineyard management. But perhaps most importantly of all I learned viticulture from one of the most intelligent men on the subject.

The final season of Lon's life I managed to plant all the rooted grape cuttings he had given me. Unfortunately Lon was never able to visit the vineyard he was so instramental in helping me build. One topic we spent a lot of time working on was spelling the grape name correctly, as the entire vineyard is labeled with high-fire clay tablets. If it is going to be cast in stone, best get the spelling correct. We eventually spent hours going over the names, talking about their history; one story leading to another story.

All varieties listed on this page can be found growing alive at the Farmington Grape Library on Farmington Road. Most varieties are represented by only three living plants. "Novalty" varieties I only planted one. However, this is a U-Pick, and quantity means more wine and juice. Pinot, Riesling and Chardonnay do very well in the area; of these varieties I have collected clones and planted entire rows to ensure multiple bottles of juice and wine can be produced.

American Hybrid Seeded Variety

Alden (Ontario x Grosse Guillaume).

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. One of the largest berried American hybrid grapes,the size of the oval, bluish red berries is striking. Not only are they large, they are firm and meaty with a slight muscat flavor. The fruit quality is pure vinifera with no foxy flavor. The berry skin is tender and prone to cracking, but the vines are so productive (50 pounds isn't uncommon) that there is still a lot of fruit left after any damage is removed. Alden has rather low acid, allowing it to taste sweet at lower sugar. In fact, 16 Brix is about as high as the sugar goes most years. In spite of the low sugar, several people have reported being able to make a white muscat wine with Alden. Alden needs good soil fertility for best growth and production. Disease resistance is about average for this kind of hybrid, which means it needs a regular control program in the east. Hardy to about -10 F. The growth habit is upright, making it easy to manage. Train it to cordons and prune the spurs to no more than two buds to prevent overcropping. A R-RB T,W EM.

American, seeded, Red/ Reddish Blue, table/ wine, early mid-season, large light muscat flavor, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Alwood (Fredonia x Athens)

From the Virginia Polytechnic Institute. Alwood looks like a black Concord with larger berries, but ripens about 3 weeks earlier than Concord. Alwood has an unusually pronounced labrusca aroma that perfumes the air for some distance away from the vine. Very productive, often having three clusters to a shoot. The vine has unusually short internodes. That is, the buds are close together on the shoots. This makes the shoots short and gives the plant a compact, bushy look. It's productivity and compact size make it good for smaller spaces, or possibly even in a large pot. Hardy to at least -15 F to -20 F. Seems to do well on a wide range of soils, and has above average disease resistance. A grower in Tennessee reported it as being the healthiest of his varieties, which is significant given the level of disease possible in that area. Alwood can be trained to cordons or canes, though given the shortness of the canes, I have found cordons with two bud spurs give as much production as the vine can handle and still mature the fruit well.

American, seeded, Black, table/ juice, early mid-season, very aromatic/ good disease resistance, hardy to -20 F

American Seeded Variety

America (Munson x open pollinated).

Bred by T.V. Munson in Denison, Texas, this blue-black grape is unusual in several ways. It's parents are the American species Vitis lincecumii and V. rupestris, without Vitis labrusca which is in the background of so many eastern grapes. It is able to grow in a very wide range of climates, from the deep South up into Wisconsin, though in more northerly areas the fruit may remain too acid to be very good. It is resistant to Pierce's Disease and all the major fungal diseases of grapes. America is also able to tolerate heat better than most American grapes. While America does contain methyl anthranilate, which gives Concord it's flavor, itr has other elements that make it fruitier, without the musky aftertaste of labrusca based grapes. The small size of the berries and the fact that they are seeded makes them less desireable as a table grape. The berries also contain a lot of color, which tends to stain the lips and mouth when they are eaten. On the other hand, the variety has been used to make a very satisfactory port wine. America is only partly self-fertile and will set fuller clusters when planted next to another variety that blooms at the same time. Productivity is best when the vine is pruned to canes. Ripens about with Concord, which also makes a suitable pollinator. Hardy to at least -30 F, with high disease resistance.

American, seeded, Black, table/ wine/ juice, mid-season, very resistant to disease, hardy to -25 F

American Seeded Variety

Bath. Fredonia x NY 10805 (Chasselas Rose x Mills)

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station, released in 1952. The relatively small, blue berries are firmer, sweeter, and milder in labrusca flavor than the parent, Fredonia. Clusters are cylindrical in shape and vary in size. Heavy bearing , but rather low in vigor. Does best on fertile sandy or silty loam soils. Use it as a Concord type. Ripens about three weeks before Concord. About as hardy as Concord. Prune to spurs.

American, seeded, Blue, table, early, very productive moderate rigor, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Bell (Elvira x Delaware)

Bred by T.V. Munson. 1883. This white grape is reported to have very good resistance to disease, and Munson claimed it was also free of the insect pest, Leaf-folder. It has lost vigor on very heavy clay soil in my locale, suggesting it would do better on a loam or sandy soil. Flavor is a mild labrusca, but with it's parentage it could be used for some types of American wines. The following is a quote from the breeder " ... cluster medium, cylindrical, often with a shoulder, fairly compact; berry medium, round, greenish-yellow, rarely attacked with Black Rot; skin thin, sufficiently tough to prevent cracking under ordinary weather changes; pulp rather tender, juicy, very sweet and agreeably flavored; ripens just before Concord. ..." Prune to three bud spurs on cordons. A W T, W EM

American, seeded, White, table, early, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Beta (Vitis riparia x Lady).

Louis Suelter. The benchmark of cold hardiness in most of the upper midwest, Beta is hardy to around -50 F at least. Growers often keep a few vines as indicator vines. If a winter was cold enough to harm Beta, they know the rest of their vines will be badly damaged or killed to the snow line. The small blue berries on rather small clusters are too aci for good fresh eating, but they make excellent juice and jelly posessing high color and good sugar. Because Beta has labrusca flavor, novices often call it Concord, even though Concord wouldn't ripen and would be killed by winter in many locales where Beta thrives. Vines are vigorous and can attain immense size when left unpruned. With it's high acid, it's best to leave it on the vine as long as possible, to give the acid more time to decrease. Prune to canes for good productivity. A B J,W EM

American, seeded, Blue, table/ wine/ juice, early, standard of cold hardiness, hardy to -40 F

American Seeded Variety

Bluebell. (Beta x unknown variety).

From the University of Minnesota Fruit breeding farm. The blue berries resemble Concord in appearance and flavor, though they are softer and more prone to splitting of the skin. Very productive and vigorous, and hardy to nearly -40 F. Ripens early, at least a month before Concord, even earlier in warmer climates. Some reports of a tendency to iron deficiency chlorosis on alkaline soils, but this isn't a serious problem. Prune to spurs on cordon arms.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, early, very cold hardy concord flavor, hardy to -40 F

American Seeded Variety

Bokay (Captain x Terret Monstre)

From Southwest Missouri State University. Handsome clusters of large, meaty, white, oval berries, rather resembling the old vinifera variety, Malaga. Flavor is neutral like vinifera also. It doesn't seem to have been planted much, probably because it is seeded and mainly for eating, not juice or wine. By the standards of grapes developed before seedlessness became paramount, it was a standout. Productive, with good vigor, bearing two and sometimes three clusters to a shoot. Not many reports on the hardiness or disease resistance of the variety, but should be reasonably healthy given the very healthy female parent, and is probably hardy to at least -15 F. Ripens close to Concord. Prune to cordons with two bud spurs.

American, seeded, Yellow, table, late, large white vinifera quality, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Brilliant (Lindley x Delaware).

A red grape bred by T.V. Munson in Denison, Texas. In the late 1800's, Lindley and Delaware were considered top quality grapes. However, LIndley, one of the Rogers' Hybrids, has female flowers and needs to be pollinated by another variety to set a good crop, and it is excessively vigorous. Brilliant was an attempt by Munson to get a grape with high quality that would have a more productive, manageable vine. In my vineyard, Brilliant is still excessively vigorous and only moderately productive at best. The brick-red berries are about the size of Concord, but on smaller, more compact clusters. Quality is coarser and the flavor isn't as good as either parent in my area, though growers in hotter climates like it. Not surprising since it was selected in the hot climate of Denison, Texas. Hardiness is unknown. Probably in the -15 F to -20 F range. Ripe about with Delaware. Prune to canes and give it extra room in the row.

American, seeded, Red, table, early mid-season, very vigerous, hardy to -15 F

Buffalo (Herbert xWatkins)

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. Blue-black, slipskin, with berries much like Concord in appearance, but on smaller clusters. Flavor is fruity and spicey, with less of the labrusca flavor than most American varieties. Has been used in winemaking because it has tannins similar to vinifera from that species in it's ancestry. Does best with good soil fertility. Secondary crop is good if frost hits the primary shoots. Vine is upright. Prune to three bud spurs on cordons. Hardy to between -15 F to -20 F.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, early, good all purpose grape, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Campbell Early. Of complex parentage

Bred by a private U.S. breeder in the 1880's. This black grape, with its big berries and big clusters has Concord-like flavor, but it's sweeter with less of the musky aftertaste of the older grape. While not commonly grown in the U.S., it is a favorite variety in Japan and other Asian countries. It achieves full color about a week before it is ready to eat. It is actually ripe two to three weeks before Concord in most areas. While most of the clusters are large, handsome, and well filled, it is a characteristic of the variety that there are always a few small, poorly filled clusters. Likes fertile soil or at least regular mulching with compost. About as hardy as Concord. Train it to cordons with spurs and prune the spurs to two buds. Hardiness and disease resistance is similar to Concord.

American, seeded, Black, table/ juice, early mid-season, fine old variety colors before it is sweet hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Chontay

American, seeded, Blue, table/ Juice/ wine, early mid-season, hardy to -35 F

American Seeded Variety

Christmas. A seedling or sport of Isabella.

Developed by Luther Burbank. The old American grape Isabella has produced sports and seedlings which are tetraploid, having twice the normal number of chromosomes. Tetraploids often have larger fruit than the parent variety, and also have larger, thicker leaves and shoots, though there are fewer shoots on a tetraploid. This seems to fit Christmas well. There is debate in the literature as to whether Christmas is a seedling or a sport of Isabella, or some other descendent of Isabella. Christmas has all the traits of a tetraploid, including thick, heavy leaves, large, thick shoots, and poor roots. Tetraploids usually have fewer roots than ordinary grapes and are slower to establish, so that they are often grafted on vigorous rootstocks. Hardiness of Christmas is unknown as it was selected in California, though it's probable parentage suggests it would be hardy to at least -15 F. Prune it to cordons with spurs. Ripens two weeks or more after Concord.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, late, concord type for hot climates, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Concord.

Grown by E. W. Bull in Massachusetts from seed collected from a wild vine. 1848. Concord was a vast improvement over other grapes of it's time because it ripened earlier than most and was able to grow in a wider range of conditions and soils than the other grapes of it's time. That adaptability is one reason that Concord is in the ancestry of many modern grapes. Concord has been eclipsed as a table grape by many newer varieties, but it is still the standard variety for making cooked commercial grape juice, which is why it is still so well known. By today's standards it ripens late, as much as six weeks after some of the very early varieties like Price. The vine likes a slightly heavy, fertile soil to do it's best. Hardy to between -15 F and -20 F in most conditions. I prune mine to cordons with two and three bud spurs for convenience, but the clusters will be a bit larger when the vine is trained to a cane training method, such as the old Kniffen system.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, mid-season, hardy to -15 F

French Hybrid Seeded Variety

Dattier St.Vallier (Seyve-Villard 20-365) Panse x Seyve-Villard 12-375; cross made in 1931.

Originated in Saint Vallier, Drome, France, by Seyve-Villard. Introd. in the U.S. before 1960. Cluster: large; short conic; loose. Berry: large, ovoid truncate; elongated; skin greenish-yellow, thin; flesh tender, meaty; flavor neutral, sweet: may crack with rain when ripe. Vine: vigorous; very productive; buds-out late; shoots glabrous and the unfolding leaf red, sinuses deep, well marked, open; high tolerance to downy mildew and moderate tolerance to powdery mildew; hardy to about -10 F. Prune to two bud spurs on cordons.

French Hybrid, seeded, White, table/ wine, late, large lady finger type berries, hardy to -10 F

American Seeded Variety

Delaware. This red grape is one of the oldest American varieties. It's exact origin is unknown, but it is apparently a chance seedling.

Excellent in it's time, it was the standard of quality in grapes in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The clusters and berries are small, but sweet and with much less labrusca flavor than other grapes of it's time. It was prized for wines in early America and there are still a few wineries that make specialty wines with it. Delaware is also still a fine, fruity grape for eating and fresh juice. Delaware likes a fertile loam or slightly clay loam for good productivity. Hardy to about -10 F to -15 F Train it to canes for best yield, though vines on fertile soil will give good crops even trained to cordons with spurs.

American, seeded, Red, table/ wine/ juice, early mid-season, old standard variety, hardy to -10 F

American Seeded Variety

Diamond. (syn. Moore's Diamond, White Diamond). (Concord x Iona)

This white grape from the 1880's has Concord's adaptability to soils and climates while ripening at least two weeks earlier. For a grape of its time, the flavor is mild, sweet, and not strongly foxy. The vines have an upright growth habit that makes them easy to train, and their vigor is sufficient without being excessive. It is sometimes compared to Niagara, but Diamond is by far the better grape. The fruit will crack in wet weather, though it usually ripens before that is a problem here. Diamond is one parent of Ontario, which in turn, is the parent of a range of quality table grapes. Still used for champagne and still wine in New York and a few other places. Hardy to about -20 F. It is easier to train to cordons with spurs than to canes.

American, seeded, Yellow, table/ juice/ wine, early mid-season, rich flavor, hardy to -20 F

American Seeded Variety

Dilemma (Esprit x Himrod)

When a breeder crosses two varieties, he hopes the offspring will combine all the best of each parent. In 2006 I found a selection from a cross of Esprit x Himrod that combined almost all the best of each parent. The clusters are large, well shaped, handsome, with neutral but good flavor, and the vines are very vigorous and productive and appear to be healthy. Except that the grapes have seeds. In the past, seeds wouldn't have been a problem, but now the consumers want seedless grapes. BUT the combination MIGHT also have given a good wine grape, and wine grapes don't need to be seedless. So what do you do with a grape that's essentially perfect save for one trait, and MIGHT be a dual purpose grape as well? In this case, I decided to name the grape for what it is, a DILEMMA and let you, the customer, see what it will do for you. The parentage, Esprit x Himrod, means the vine should be hardy to at least -15 F, and could be hardy to -20 F or a little more. The fruit ripens about two weeks after Himrod. The vine shows signs of having much of Esprit's disease resistance, and the clusters are much tougher than Himrod. Prune it to canes as it has enough vigor to carry a good size crop. And let me know how it performs for you.

American, seeded, White, table/ wine, early mid-season, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Early Muscat (Muscat Hamburg x Queen of the Vineyard).

Bred by H. P. Olmo at the University of California at Davis. This large clustered white grape with oval berries was bred to be a table grape, but in the cool climate of the Pacific Northwest, it also makes a very nice muscat wine. While the vigor is good, the canes tend to be thin for a vinifera grape. Train it to cordons with spurs. Ripens about three weeks before Concord.

American, seeded, White, table/ wine, early mid-season, excellent muscat flavor, hardy to -5 F

American Seeded Variety

Edelweiss (Minnesota #78 x Ontario).

From the late private breeder Elmer Swenson of Osceola, Wisconsin. For those who like the Niagara type flavor, this white grape ripens at least a month earlier than Niagara and has a growth habit that is much more controllable than the wildly vigorous Niagara. Hardy to -30 F, it has excellent general disease resistance and can grow as far south as Kentucky, while being able to ripen even in cool, short summers. It is even being grown in Norway. When harvested at early maturity the flavor is mild enough that prize winning wines have been made from it. Left to hang, the flavor becomes stronger and more musky. Edelweiss likes moist, fertile soil for highest vigor and productivity, but even on average soils it will perform well. Clusters are slightly larger when the vines are trained to canes, but my vines trained to cordons and spurs are very satisfactory.

American, seeded, Green/ White, table/ juice, early, wide adaptability, hardy to -30 F

American Seeded Variety

Eona

American, seeded, Pink/ Red, table/ juice, early, hardy to -30 F

American Seeded Variety

Goff

American, seeded, Red, table, late, stores well, hardy to -15 F

Vinifera Seeded Variety

Gold (Calif. A3-94 (Muscat Hamburg x Sultanina) x Calif. K3-78 (Muscat Hamburg x Scolokertek kiralynoje)

Orig. in Davis, Calif., by H.P. Olmo, California Agr. Expt. Sta. Introd. in 1958. Cross made in 1951; tested as Calif. Q17-16. Cluster: medium; short; conical; well-filled. Berry: large; oval; skin tender, with golden sheen; seeds few, small; flesh firm; mild muscat flavor; quality excellent for table use; ripens in midseason; also used for production of a light Muscat wine. Vine: vigor medium; canes short, very leafy; very productive. Prune to spurs on cordons.

Vinifera, seeded, White/Yellow, table, late, very handsom muscat, hardy to -5 F

American Seeded Variety

Golden Muscat. (Muscat Hamburg x Diamond).

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. An old, green-golden variety that ripens one to two weeks after Concord, though it will ripen earlier in hot years and individual berries may ripen one to two weeks ahead of the rest of the cluster. When well ripened, the flavor of the very large berries is excellent, sweet and rich, though it is not a true muscat flavor. Even when not fully ripe it has a tangy, citrus-like flavor that is very good. Clusters often weigh over a pound and larger ones are possible. Unfortunately, the fruit is very sensitive to cracking if there is rain at ripening time and will rot readily once cracked. A good home grape, but not consistent enough for a commercial variety. At it's best in a hot, dry climate such as California. Prune it to three bud spurs on cordons.

American, seeded, Green, table, late, High quality but the flavor is more of a citrusy flavor than true muscat, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

John Viola. A chance seedling found near Rochester, New Hampshire in the 1970's.

Named by Professor Elwyn Meader for the man on whose property the grape was found. The grape appears to have both labrusca and riparia in it's background. The small berries are deep blue, seeded, and come in cylindrical clusters. The flavor is a mild labrusca with some of the herbaceous flavor of riparia. Not exceptional as a table grape, but it makes intensely colored juice and may have use in wine or breeding. Lacks the sharp acidity usually found in riparia hybrids. Very productive with three clusters per shoot being common. Vigor is good without being excessive. Train it to cordons with spurs. Professor Meader said it had survived -25 F, the coldest temperature he had seen at the area where it was found. It is probably hardy to lower temperatures. Good general disease resistance. Ripens at least four to five weeks before Concord.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, early, productive, hardy to -35 F

American Seeded Variety

Kay Gray. A white grape bred by Elmer Swenson in Osceola, Wisconsin. Found almost by accident.

One year, Mr. Swenson was ill and didn't spray his vineyard. One seedling vine stood out for it's health and freedom from downy mildew. If not for that, the vine might not have been selected as the fruit wasn't especially noteable. The clusters and berries are somewhat small, with a labrusca flavor. Flavor varies with climate, ranging from a rather ordinary labrusca to a pleasant fruity flavor depending on where it is grown. The best part of the variety is the vine. In addition to the good resistance to disease, the vine has withstood -42 F without damage. The vines have moderate vigor, needing more fertility than other varieties to develop good size. Vines can be trained to cordons with three bud spurs, or to canes to insure more crop. Largely used as a cold hardy white wine grape, it is being replaced by newer cold hardy white wine grapes, including some of it's own offspring. Liked by organic growers, and the little clusters are pleasant to eat, as well.

American, seeded, White, table/ juice/ wine, early, hardy to -40 F

American Seeded Variety

King of the North. Unknown parentage.

This blue-black grape was found as a chance seedling. King of the North appears to be a natural hybrid of Vitis labrusca with V. riparia. It has the cold hardiness of the latter, with the flavor of the former in diluted form and the high sugar that usually comes from V. riparia. Less acid than other cold hardy hybrids of the type. High vigor and good productivity coupled with good disease resistance. Hardy to at least -40 F, if not colder. Productive, it should be trained to canes to give it a large enough crop load to reduce it's vigor, though it can be trained to spurs as well. A B T,J,W E to EM

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, early, hardy to -40 F

American Seeded Variety

Long John. A cross of Vitis lincecumii "Big Berry" x Triumph mix,

Made by T.V. Munson in Denison, Texas in the late 1800s to early 1900s. Possibly named for the character in Treasure Island. Very large, late ripening black berries are very mild wih no American type flavor. At its best here In a hot season. Enormous leaves, some of the biggest, healthiest ones in my collection. This should be tried by more growers. Prune to canes.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ leaves, late mid-season, hardy to -15 F

Vinifera Seeded Variety

Muscat Hamburg (Black Hamburg x Muscat of Alexandria)

An old classic, black muscat table grape. The oval berries are variable in size, but the flavor is consistently excellent. Resists cracking fairly well. Ripens about with Concord. Hard to get a full crop because the animals target it as soon as it colors. Pruning the vines to spurs on cordons works, though some growers report bigger clusters if the vine is cane pruned.

Vinifera, seeded, Blue, table/ wine, late mid-season, outstanding table grape, hardy to -5 F

American Seeded Variety

New York Muscat (Muscat Hamburg x Ontario).

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. This grape is always in the top three in tastings. The oval reddish-blue grapes have the best muscat flavor of any hybrid I have tried. Only pure vinifera muscats like Early Muscat or Muscat Hamburg are better in flavor, but they aren't as hardy as NY Muscat. The vine has less vigor such that where Concord would be planted eight feet apart, NY Muscat could easilly be planted six feet apart in the rows. Productivity is also lighter than many varieties. Even so, the flavor is worth it. Also used for sweet muscat wines in the eastern US. My vines do well trained to cordons and pruned to two or three bud spurs. Needs good soil fertility, too.

American, seeded, Red/ Reddish Blue, table/ wine, early, excellent muscat for home use, hardy to -10 F

American Seeded Variety

Niagara (Concord x Cassaday).

19th century, private breeder. Niagara shows the value of advertising. There are several white American grapes with better traits, but massive advertising of the part of the breeders made Niagara into the "companion" to Concord. Excessively vigorous, it is often sold as a grape for arbors, but it soon outruns it's space. Hardy only to about -15 F, and somewhat more susceptible to disease than Concord. Very aromatic, such that you can smell it some distance from the arbor. The strong aroma is liked for juice, though. Also used in some sweet wines. It will produce well when trained to cordons with spurs, but may need to be trained to canes to load it up with enough crop to reduce the vigor. I've seen single vines of this grape trained up the side of a three story building, producing 1,000 pounds of fruit a year. A W T,J,W M

American, seeded, Green, table/ juice, mid-season, Vigor up the yazoo, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Ontario (Winchell x Diamond)

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. A decent white American grape, with fairly large clusters of mild, fruity white, seeded grapes. Overall disease resistance is good and the vine is upright and productive. About as hardy as Concord, to -20 F in most conditions. Ripens a month earlier than Concord. With it's good overall balance of traits, Ontario's greatest virtue has been in breeding. It is a parent of a many good grapes from several breeding programs. Prune to two bud spurs on cordons.

American, seeded, White, table/ juice, very early, mild American flavor, hardy to -15 F

Vinifera Seeded Variety

Pearl de Csaba. A Hungarian variety

This white grape has a distinct, if mild, muscat flavor. The small berries on small clusters ripen very early, among the first vinifera grapes ready. In warm climates it is mainly a table grapes, but in cooler growing seasons, such as in the Pacific Norhwest in western Washington State, the sugar and acid balance is good enough to make a pleasant muscat wine. The vines have moderate to slightly low vigor, depending on the soil. Prune it to three bud spurs on cordons.

Vinifera, seeded, White, table, very early, light muscat flavor hardy to -5 F

American Seeded Variety

Price. A complex blue hybrid from VPI (Virginia Polytechnic Institute).

For those who like Concord as a table grape, the flavor of Price is a refined version of Concord. The clusters are small, but the Concord-size berries have juicy, tender, very sweet flesh, and skin that is much more tender and less astringent than Concord. Where Concord has sugar of 16 Brix, Price can achieve 22 Brix. Three clusters per shoot is not unusual, either. The vine is productive, with good vigor. It ripens very early, usually with the very first grapes in my collection, and is so well adapted to cool climates that it is one of the few grapes that will ripen around Puget Sound. This is my oldest son's favorite grape, and it's one that deserves trial for cool, short growing seasons everywhere. Reported hardy to -25 F, with good general disease resistance.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, very early, hardy to -25 F

Vinifera Seeded Variety

Queen of the Vineyard (aka Skolokertek Kiralynoje)

A white variety bred in Hungary. Ripens as much as 6 weeks before Concord. The berries have firm flesh and a light muscat flavor with overtones of rose petals. The normal clusters are not unusually large, but by thinning the crop carefully at bloom time, the remaining clusters can be two or three times normal and are quite handsome. This kind of thinning is rather labor-intensive for commercial production, but can be fun for a home grower to try. Train the vines to cordons with spurs.

Vinifera, seeded, White, table/ leaves, early, rose-petal muscat flavor, hardy to -5 F

American Seeded Variety

RoseBelle

American, seeded, Red, table, mid-season, high vigor not very productive here, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Schuyler. (Zinfandel x Ontario)

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. Extremely productive, bearing large clusters of very sweet, soft, juicy, black berries. In the eastern U.S. it has a very slight labrusca flavor, but in the West, it is totally neutral. Somewhat susceptible to powdery mildew for me, but training it to an open growth habit is usually enough to keep it clean. It must be pruned very short, to two bud spurs, and may still need thinning to prevent overcropping. Hardy to about -15 F, but needs a fairly long fall to harden off well: in 1999 there was an early frost that was just enough to nip the leaves of the vines and only Schuyler was affected. That year Schuyler failed to harden most of its wood, leaving only about six inches of live wood at the bases of most canes. A very juicy table grape, Schuyler also makes a neutral light red wine.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, early mid-season, heavy bearing red fall foliage, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Seneca (Lignan Blanc x Ontario).

An early release from Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. The small, white oval berries of this century-old variety ripen very early, coming on at least six weeks before Concord. Though not seedless, most of the excellently sweet, spicey-flavored berries have only one seed. The quality of the fruit is somewhat offset by faults of the vine. For one, it is more susceptible to powdery mildew than any other American grape I have tried. It tends to alternate between light and heavy crops, and vigor is on the high side, Seneca must be pruned to canes as spurs are not productive. Fruit quality is so good it's still worth a try, at least for a home grower, though a few growers succeed with it for very early roadside sales. Cold hardy to between -10 F and -15 F.

American, seeded, White, table, early, excellent flavor must be cane pruned for high productivity, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Steuben (Wayne x Sheridan).

From Cornell's Geneva, New York experiment station. Big handsome clusters of large blue slipskin grapes that make excellent juice and are good eaten fresh. Steuben's flavor is fruity and with a spicy character that is distinctly different and better than Concord. If it had been released soon after it's development, it might have been a star. However, Steuben was kept in testing so long that when it was finally released, seedless grapes had become popular, making widespread acceptance of Steuben unlikely. Resists cracking. Ripens about with Concord. The vines have good vigor and an open growth habit that makes them easy to train. Consistently has two good clusters per shoot. In addition, Steuben has good general disease resistance and it will often have bright fall leaf color. A particularly nice grape for an arbor. Hardy to at least -20 F, though some reports suggest it's hardier than that. Train it to cordons and prune the spurs to two buds.

American, seeded, Red, table/ juice, mid-season, handsome cluster with red fall foliage and good vigor, hardy to -20 F

American Seeded Variety

Swenson Red (Minnesota #78 x Seibel 11803).

The first grape released from Elmer Swenson's grape breeding work and my personal favorite. The unique, fruity flavor of this firm, meaty grape is like no other. Only grapes with muscat flavor usually tie it in tastings. While it is generally red, it may have blue in the color where nights are cool, and it can even be green in color when grown where nights are hot. The sugar goes over 21 Brix, and some winemakers have produced a good white or rose wine with it. The vine may have rather low vigor in its early years, but it increases in vigor and productivity as it becomes well established. On some of the clusters, flowers in the center section may fail to set, making the mature cluster dumbbell-shaped. Heavy dew or fog may interfere with set. Training the cordons high, at least 4 to 5 feet above the ground, helps keep the flower clusters out of the cool, most air near the ground that interferes with set. Hardy to -30 F. Few major disease problems, except that it is susceptible to downy mildew. Lon J. Rombough, B.S., M.S., ATM

American, seeded, Red, table/ wine, early, hardy to -30 F

American Seeded Variety

Swenson White (Esprit x Edelweiss)

My first taste of this grape was directly from the original vine at Elmer Swenson's farm. The skin was tough enough to resist cracking without being unpleasant to eat, and the flesh was firm but tender with a fruity flavor unlike any other hybrid I had tried up to that time. The vine had tremendous vigor, with canes 20 feet long, which was exceptional in that climate. A very few berries in each cluster contained six seeds, grouped in a tight cluster that often came out all stuck together, forming a ball almost like a cherry pit. In western Oregon, the texture and skin are similar, but the fruit has been very neutral in flavor and the "seed ball" is almost never found. Swenson White hangs very well on the vine, much like Vidal Blanc in that ability, making it a potential variety for icewine. Likes a loamy, fertile soil to do it's best. It seems to do well pruned either to canes or to cordons with spurs. If it has time to harden well before frost it can be hardy to -30 F. Otherwise it is hardy to -20 F to -25 F. Ripens about three weeks before Concord, but can hang on the vine for several weeks.

American, seeded, White, table/ wine, early, Excellent fruity flavor, tender pulp, very vigorous., hardy to -20 F or more

American Seeded Variety

Valiant. (Fredonia x V. riparia) South Dakota

Valiant was bred by Dr. Ron Peterson at South Dakota State University for cold hardiness, being able to take -50 F or more. Valiant inherits the Concord-like flavor of Fredonia combined with high sugar and intense color from the Vitis riparia parent. As a result, it makes juice and jelly with a flavor like Concord, but with much better sugar, acid, and color. The leaves lack the heavy fuzz of labrusca and can be used for dolmas. Valiant is moderately susceptible to downy mildew and black rot in warm, wet summers. While it is very cold hardy, Valiant is easiest to grow in a climate with dry summers. Train Valiant to cordons with spurs of three buds each.

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice/ wine, very early, great for juice, has survived to -50 F

French Hybrid Seeded Variety

Verdelet - Seibel 9110

French Hybrid, seeded, White, table/ wine, early mid-season, firm meaty berries, hardy to -10 F

American Seeded Variety

Vineland 71121. Complex parentage

Bred at Vineland, Ontario, Canada. Largely a novelty variety because the fruit is orange in color. The color varies with climate, from golden through orange to rather brown. The vine is upright, but rather low in vigor and needs a fertile soil for good growth. Flavor is neutral, much like pure vinifera. As a student in the lab of Dr. H.P. Olmo I saw a seedling grape that was a bright, fluorescent orange, much more intense than this selection. That one was discarded, but V. 71121 has material from Davis in it's background and may have some ancestors in common with that discarded orange grape. Hardy to about -10 F.

American, seeded, Orange, table, early mid-season, Only Orange grape no other special reason, hardy to -15 F

American Seeded Variety

Worden A seedling of Concord

Has some important differences. A blue-black grape, the berries are larger than Concord, though the clusters are smaller than those of the parent. Worden ripens about two weeks earlier than Concord, though it is not as sweet or highly flavored as Concord. Worden is hardier than Concord, being able to stand -25 F to -30 F in some cases. Productivity is less than that of Concord and the vine is most productive trained to canes. A B T,J, EM

American, seeded, Blue, table/ juice, early mid-season, like concord but hardier and earlier, hardy to -25 F

American Seeded Variety

Yates (Mills x Ontario)

Introduced in 1937. From Cornell's Geneva, New York experiment station, this large red grape was bred very early in their program when objectives were different, in an era when shipping of grapes was not yet common. Yates was selected because it keeps extremely well in cold storage. Even it if has little commercial use now, Yates still has many fine traits for home use. Ripening one week after Concord, Yates extends the fresh grape season. It's tough skin resists rain so that the big, handsome clusters have no problems with bunch rot. Flavor is pleasantly fruity. The vine is vigorous and productive, but easily managed. Hardy to at least -15 F, if not colder. Prune to cordons with three bud spurs.

American, seeded, Red, table, late, keeps up to 6-months in storage








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