Farmington Grape Library

Seedless Grape Varieties for the Pacific Northwest

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All text of grape varieties lifted from Lon Rombough in his words. 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. Occationally I only bother to plant one plant because it is a "novalty", others, like McFadden or Pinot Gris, are represent by 9 or 12 plants.

Vinifera Seedless Variety

Beauty Seedless (Queen of the Vineyard x Black Kishmish)

Bred by H. P. Olmo at the University of California at Davis. The first black seedless grape created by breeding. The small, egg-shaped berries have a light spicy flavor. With thinning, very large, 5-pound clusters are possible, but when the clusters are so large there is a tendency for botrytis to develop inside without showing it outwardly. When an affected cluster is handled, it collapses into rot. The normal, untreated clusters are small enough for air circulation through them to keep rot from starting easily. The vine hardens off early in the fall so that vines survived a freeze of 5º F, on November 5 1985 in western Oregon, with noticeably less damage than other vinifera. Beauty Seedless vines are very vigorous, second only to Centennial. Produces well enough when pruned to spurs on cordons, but with the high vigor, training the vine to canes will help reduce the vigor.

Vinifera, seedless, blue, table/raisin, early, large clusters, hardy to -10º F

Vinifera Seedless Variety

Black Corinth (aka Zante Currant, the Champagne grape, etc.).

An ancient grape, probably of Greek origin. While the main variety is black, there are red and also white forms of the grape, though they are less common than the black form. One of only a very few parthenocarpic grapes in commerce. Other grapes are seedless because the seeds start to develop, then abort. Parthenocarpic grapes have no seed development at all. Black Corinth has the smallest berries of all seedless grapes and must be sprayed with hormone, or have the vine girdled for the berries to set evenly and have any size to them at all. Without treatment, the berries are mostly pinhead size. Very susceptible to powdery mildew, even for a vinifera grape. The name "Champagne Grape" comes from a pictorial in Sunset magazine. Written by Allan Corrin, a produce dealer whose company grows most of the Black Corinth sold in stores in the U.S., it showed a frosted bunch of Black Corinth with a glass of champagne. In actuality, there is an old American grape already named "Champagne" that is a very coarse, harsh tasting labrusca grape. Prune Black Corinth to canes for best production.

Vinifera, seedless, blue, table/raisin, mid-season, Bad powdery Mildew, takes special handling. AKA "The Champagne Grape", hardy to 0º F

American Seedless Variety

Bronx Seedless (Goff x Iona) x Sultanina.

Introduced in 1937. From Cornell University. The second seedless grape to be released from a controlled breeding program. In New York, other varieties have surpassed it, but this red seedless grape still has followers in parts of the west. While the variety cracks in rainy weather, it performs well in dry conditions. Flavor of Bronx is fruity and very pleasant, somewhat similar to that of Reliance. Clusters are fairly large, but tend to be loose and may have problems setting well. This results in many small, seedless "shot" berries some years. Vigorous and productive, the vine has odd chrome-yellow leaves that are a natural trait, not a disease or problem. Ripens one to two weeks before Concord. Produces best when trained to canes. Hardy to about -10 F.

American, seedless, Red, table, mid-season, large clusters/ may crack, hardy to -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Canadice (Bath x Himrod).

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. One of the first second generation hybrids released. Produced in hopes of getting hardier seedless grapes. The compact clusters of red berries are handsome, though berry size is small. Flavor is a mild labrusca flavor similar to Delaware. Canadice is less vigorous than other varieties, but extremely productive, so that it must be pruned to two bud spurs on cordons, and even then may need cluster thinning to prevent overcropping. Under ideal conditions, Canadice is hardy to -20oF, but if the vines are overcropped, canes may die back at temperatures above zero. Canadice ripens even in cool climates. It is one of few that will ripen right on Puget Sound. Ripens about four weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, Red, table/ juice, early, may overbear/ good in cool climates, hardy to -20º F

Vinifera Seedless Variety

Centennial (PVP, patent expired) (Gold x Q25-6).

Bred by H. P. Olmo at the University of California at Davis. An excellent white grape that is firm, crisp, with mild muscat flavor, and some of the largest berries of any seedless grape. This variety should have been a winner. However, the clusters have a mix of berries of varying sizes, and the stems don't stay green in shipping, two things that destroyed it for commercial sales. An excellent raisin variety, with very large raisins that could be a specialty item, but commercial users want small raisins for baking and processing. Skin is tender and may crack if weather is rainy when the fruit is ripe. Mostly a home variety. Extremely vigorous, with the vine capable of attaining great size. Prune to canes.

Vinifera, seedless, white, table/ raisin, early mid-season, very large berries for a seedless/ may crack, hardy to -5º F

American Seedless Variety

Challenger (Unknown parentage)

Released from Southwest Missouri State University. The cross for this grape was made at Cornell University's Geneva, New York station, but the material was transferred to Missouri and the parentage was lost in the move. A red grape, the performance of this variety has been disappointing. Flavor is neutral, to the point of being almost insipid if it doesn't develop enough sweetness. Left to hang until it is past prime maturity, the fruit sometimes develops an odd "fish egg" texture. Production is good, but the vine is excessively vigorous, making it hard to manage. The variety is hardy to about -10 F and doesn't have any special disease resistance. Ripens about three weeks before Concord. Even with it's flaws, it's a very handsome grape and may do well in a hotter climate than mine.

American, seedless, Red, table, early mid-season, ripens 3 weeks before concord, hardy to -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Delight (Queen of the Vineyard x Thompson Seedless).

Bred by H. P. Olmo at the University of California at Davis. A sister seedling of Perlette, it's the better of the two in some ways. The fruit is sweeter with measurably higher sugar, ripening a bit earlier and with skin that cracks less than that of Perlette. Flavor is a light muscat. The shoots have a tendency to short internodes that make the vines more bushy. The result is a vine that is slower to establish, but easier to handle. Easily trained to cordons with spurs.

Vinifera, seedless, Yellow, table/ raisin, early, hardy to -0º F

American Seedless Variety

Dr. Good. (Alden x VeeBlanc) x Himrod.

The late Dr. Norman Good of Lansing, MI was a plant physiologist by trade, but he loved grapes and went to considerable effort to breed them. "Dr. Good" was a selection he sent to me not long before he died. It's a white berried seedless grape with very large, handsome clusters. The berries are neutral and very firm. It's only moderately productive, rarely having more than one cluster per shoot, but the big clusters are handsome and the quality is very close to vinifera. "Dr. Good" is thte name I have given this selection and I'm offering it at least partly in memory of a man who loved to "play grape" as he put it. Hardiness and disease rersistance are unknown at this time. Good vigor once it is well established. Production is best when the vines are pruned to canes.

American, seedless, White, table, early mid-season, hardiness not yet established

American Seedless Variety

Einset (Fredonia x Canner)

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. This red seedless can be excellent in the right soil, with firm berries and a fruity flavor unlike few other grapes. However, the performance of the vine and the quality of the fruit are quite variable according to the type of soil Einset is grown on. If the soil is too heavy, the vine has low vigor and the fruit is small and lacks flavor. If there is more fertility than the vine likes, clusters may be loose with an odd aftertaste to the fruit. The vine is hardy to about -15oF. Disease resistance is about the same as varieties such as Himrod and Interlaken. Train it to canes for sufficient production. Ripens three to four weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, Red, table/ raisin, early, particular about climate and soil, hardy to -10º F

Vinifera Seedless Variety

Flame Seedless (complex parentage).

Bred at the USDA station in Fresno, California. As grown in the NW, Flame's berries tend to be darker in color and the berries are smaller than the ones in the stores, unless treated with hormone or girdled. The vine is vigorous to a fault. I grow mine completely without watering it and I still get canes 20 feet long. More resistant to cracking than other vinifera grapes, at least partly due to the open clusters, which dry off quickly after rain. Prune to spurs, and give it at least 10 feet between vines.

Vinifera, seedless, Red, table/ raisin, early, Resists cracking. High vigor. Common red seedless in grocery stores, hardy to -5º F

American Seedless Variety

Glenora (Ontario x Russian Seedless).

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. Blue seedless. The vine vigor is excessive and not as productive as such a large vine could be. Flavor is very mild and pleasant, but the clusters vary. Some may be perfect, with uniform large berries; others are straggly, with various berry sizes on the same cluster. Berries crack if rained on at ripening time. but seem able to "heal" somewhat instead of rotting. One oddity for me is that, almost without fail, the bottom three berries on a cluster are always under ripe when the rest of the cluster is ready. When frozen, berries of Glenora look and taste a lot like blueberries. Prune to canes.

American, seedless, Blue, table, early mid-season, red/orange fall foilage, hardy to -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Himrod. (Ontario x Sultanina).

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. A white seedless from Geneva, New York. Large, loose clusters of oval, soft, but flavorful berries. Vine is excessively vigorous and not very productive: 20 pounds per vine is a good crop, and 15 pounds is more common. Very early, about five weeks before Concord, so it ripens in cool areas. Vine is excessively vigorous. Berry stems are weak and the clusters tend to shatter if fruit isn't picked soon after ripening. Has some susceptibility to powdery mildew, but usually doesn't need control if grown well. Hardy to about -15oF. Must be trained to canes as it is not fruitful when trained to spurs.

American, seedless, White, table/ raisin, very early, canes must be pruned, hardy to -15º F

American Seedless Variety

Interlaken. A sister seedling of Himrod (same parents) with seedless green to golden berries.

Less vigorous than Himrod, but ripens about a week earlier and is much more productive, up to 30 pounds per vine. Good grape for cool climates or places with short seasons. Hardy to about -15oF. Berries are firm, develop good sugar around 22oBrix on well-filled to compact clusters. Interlaken is also the best variety I have tried for raisins and the berries make good frozen fruit. The vine produces well when trained to cordons with two or three bud spurs.

American, seedless, White/ Yellow, table/ raisin, very early, -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Jupiter (PVP) (complex parentage)

1998, University of Arkansas. A reddish-blue to blue seedless muscat variety with oval berries having firm flesh and resistance to cracking. While not as intense in flavor as New York Muscat, Jupiter is the best seedless American hybrid muscat yet. Productivity is quite good, to the extent that thinning may be necessary at times. Vigor is good. Ripens between Venus and Reliance. Produces well when trained to cordons and pruned to two or three bud spurs.

American, seedless, Red/ Blue, table/ raisin, eary mid-season/ seedless muscat, -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Lakemont. Another sibling of Himrod from Geneva, New York,

This white seedless is the best producer of the group, with a yield of as much as 35 pounds per vine. Clusters are very large, well-filled to compact, and quite handsome. In the West, they are neutral in flavor, but in the East they have a mild labrusca flavor. Keeps in cold storage the best of all the seedless varieties. Lakemont actually gets better in storage. Ripens about two weeks after Himrod. Produces best with cane training, but will give a decent crop when trained to cordons with spurs.

American, seedless, Green, table, eary mid-season/ keeps well in cold storage, -15º F

American Seedless Variety

Mars (PVP, but patent has expired) (Island Belle x Ark. 1339)

1986. University of Arkansas. This blue seedless has the largest berries of all American-type seedless grapes in my collection. The vigor of the vine is good, but it's behavior changes over time. On young vines, clusters are loose and straggly, making for a light crop weight. After a few years, as the vine matures, the clusters are more well filled and the vine produces more overall crop weight. The flavor of the fruit is labrusca, like the Island Belle parent, with slightly pulpy flesh. The fruit is actually at its best a day after picking, when acids go down a bit. Better disease resistance than most seedless grapes, though it still needs as much disease control as Concord. . One of the last to bud out in the spring, which helps it avoid late frost. Spur pruning works for me. Ripens about three to four weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, Blue, table, early/ large grape for seedless, -20º F

American Seedless Variety

Monastery Muscat (Alden x NY 65.483.2)

White seedless muscat for table and wine use. It was bred by Bro. Kenneth Caudill, a Brother at the Brigittine Monastery Of Our Lady of Consolation, The Order Of The Most Holy Savior in Amity, Oregon. Information on the variety’s performance is limited. By it’s parentage I wouldn’t expect it to be hardier than Alden, about -10 to -15 F. Disease resistance outside the Northwest is also untried. Brother Caudill does make an excellent sweet white muscat wine from it and the Brothers love the fruit. Supplies are limited and all proceeds go to the Monastery

American, seedless, White, table/ wine, early mid-season, -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Neptune (PVP) (complex parentage)

1998, University of Arkansas. This variety was bred for resistance to cracking, and the firm, tough-skinned, white, seedless berries are indeed highly resistant to cracking. When well raised, the well filled clusters are almost pearly in appearance, being one of the handsomest white grapes I've seen. The flavor is neutral, much like vinifera, enough that Neptune could pass for it in grocery stores. Hardy to about -10oF. Canes have large diameter and vines have an open growth habit. Good vigor. Performs acceptably when trained to cordons and pruned to spurs. Ripens about two weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, White, table, early mid-season, firm/ resists cracking, -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Reliance (PVP, expired in 2001) (Ontario x Suffolk Red).

Bred at the University of Arkansas. The regular, heavy crops of this red seedless might make "Reliable" a better name. In Arkansas and the East Reliance has a unique fruity flavor. In the west, the flavor is usually less notable, but still sweet and pleasant. It certainly appeals to the animals as they go for Reliance before anything else in my vineyard. Ripening three to four weeks before Concord, Reliance is early enough to ripen well in a wide range of climates, and it has proven hard to at least -25 oF. Color varies from red to a rather light pink, depending on climate, and it may be edible even when it shows almost no color at all. Will crack if weather is rainy during ripening time. Reliance has one of the better vines, and it is easy to train to cordons with spurs.

American, seedless, Red, table, early mid-season, very reliable, -25º F

American Seedless Variety

Remaily Seedless. From private breeder George Remaily

Released through Cornell's Geneva, New York Experiment Station. Remaily Seedless is a firm, white grape that is as neutral (aka "vinous") flavored much like a pure vinifera grape. Berry set is sometimes affected by cool wet weather at bloom time, but this isn't a serious problem. Usually has one cluster per shoot, sometimes two, though the cluster size is large which helps make the overall crop weight good. It's flavor is best when weather is warm enough during ripening to help the variety develop sufficient sugar. Train Remaily with a good canopy of foliage to protect the fruit from sunscald which can make the berries brown. Training the vines to cordons with spurs makes it easier to keep the fruit sheltered from the sun, but the variety has higher production when trained to canes. Remaily keeps well in cold storage. Hardy to about -15oF. Ripens about two weeks before Concord, or earlier in hotter seasons.

American, seedless, White, table, mid-season, firm meaty texture, -15º F

American Seedless Variety

Rombough Seedless (Esprit x Interlaken).

Bred at Aurora, Oregon by Lon J. Rombough. A white grape, the clusters are as large or a little larger than the clusters of Interlaken, but more compact and with smaller berries, about the size of the berries of Canadice. The signature of the variety is the flavor. In some conditions, flavor is similar to Interlaken, but often the berries have an unusual spicey flavor suggestive of wintergreen. The spicey flavor seems to develop the most in cool seasons. The vine is very vigorous, with moderate production. Not widely grown as of 2007, so the full range of adaptibility and hardiness is still unknown. Given the parentage, the vines should be at least as hardy as Interlaken, to -15 F, if not hardier. Ripens approximately four weeks before Concord. Best pruning method still being studied, though cane pruning may improve the productivity and take advantage of the high vigor. In the very odd cool spring combined with delayed summer of 2011 Rombough Seedless grape did something odd. Previously it had seed remnants that were large but soft and easily eaten with the berries. This year the remnants became full, hard seeds. This sort of thing has happened with Venus in some places, but this was the first time i've seen it in Rombough. I don't know if seeded fruits in Rombough will happen in other climates or not, so if your Rombough Seedless does produce normal seeds let me know.

American, seedless, White, table, early, unusual spicy flavor, -15º F

Vinifera Seedless Variety

Ruby Seedless

Ruby seedless is often found under the name "King's Ruby" due to an overambitious advertiser. It is red, well-colored berries that are large for a seedless grape. The clusters are also large and loose. Ruby ripens about two weeks after Concord, or sooner in protected sites where it can get more heat.

Vinifera, seedless, Red, table, late, -5º F

American Seedless Variety

Saturn (PVP). (Complex parentage).

Bred at the University of Arkansas. The dark red, firm, meaty egg-shaped berries of Saturn are very much like vinifera in flavor and character. And while the clusters can be quite large, the size of them can vary in different climates. In cool seasons, there may be a fairly large number of small "shot" berries in the cluster and the clusters themselves may be smaller. At it's best in hot growing seasons. Prune Saturn to canes to get the best production from the vine. On fertile soils it can have canes that are among the thickest of any American grape. Ripens about two weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, Red, table, mid-season, unusual spicy flavor, -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Suffolk Red (Fredonia x Black Monukka)

From Cornell University's Geneva, New York experiment station. A red seedless with firm, non-foxy berries. The overall quality is good, but the clusters are straggly, with shot berries a problem many years, that the overall weight of crop is low. The vine has a good upright growth habit that makes it easy to train to cordons with spurs, but production is too low. Ripens three weeks to a month before Concord, but is only hardy to about -10ºF. Reliance is an offspring of Suffolk Red and is superior in about all aspects.

American, seedless, Red, table, early mid-season, -10º F

American Seedless Variety

Spartan Seedless (Seibel 13047 x Perlette).

Bred by the late private grape breeder Cecil Farris near Lansing, Michigan. This white seedless has large compact clusters of firm, vinifera quality berries on a vigorous vine. Three clusters per shoot is common. Berries are small, about like those of Canadice. Mr. Farris claimed the vines were perfectly hardy and disease resistant for him, but the variety hasn't been around long enough for there to be many reports to verify this. Ripens about with Himrod, or a few days later. Hardiness unknown, but it should be good to at least -10 to -15 F based on the parentage. Prune to two bud spurs on cordons. A W T E

American, seedless, White, table, early, very productive grape from Michigan, -15º F

American Seedless Variety

Vanessa (Seneca x New York 45910).

Bred at Vineland, Ontario, Canada. The firm, fruity berries of this red seedless are easy to compare to Flame Seedless, though they are certainly not identical. The red color of Vanessa is more uniform, but more of a brick red than the brighter red of Flame. Vanessa has big, open vines that are very vigorous with very long internodes when young. As a result, young vines and vines on fertile soil need to be cane-trained so that extra buds can be left to produce enough crop to reduce the vine's vigor. On less fertile soil, and with more mature vines, the growth rate settles down and the vines can be cordon (spur) trained for easier handling. In dry climates the skin may sometimes be astringent, but one good rain after the fruit ripens and the astringency disappears. This is likely connected to its place of origin: Vineland selections are bred to resist rain at ripening time. The fruit keeps well in storage. The vines are hardy to about -15 to -20 F. Vanessa ripens sufficiently early to allow it to do well in a cool or short growing season. Ripens about four to five weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, Red, table, early, firm berries resist rain, -20º F

American Seedless Variety

VeePie Parentage unknown.

Bred at Vineland, Ontario, Canada. This blue-black grape is unusual in that it's high acidity makes it too tart for fresh eating. Instead, it is recommended specifically for use in grape pie. D.C. Paschke of North East, PA.worked with and tested every grape available in his 80 year career (he lived to 101 1/2) and this was his favorite for making grape pies. He raved about it enough that Vineland decided to name and reliease it. VeePie has long, well-filled clusters on a vigorous, productive vine. Hardiness is unknown, though it has withstood -15 F with no damage. The jury is still out on the best pruning method, but pruning it to canes is a good basic starting point. After the vines are mature, try pruning it to spurs on cordons. Since it is used while tart, it can be picked as soon as it colors. Left to hang until the very end of the season, the acid declines to where it can be eaten fresh. Ripe about three weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, Blue, pie, early mid-seaon, tart grape especially for pies, -15º F

American Seedless Variety

Venus (Alden x New York 46000)

From the University of Arkansas. Venus is a black seedless that has unusually large berries for a seedless grape. It's flavor is a combination of muscat and labrusca. In some years the seeds may be full-sized, but are usually soft and can be eaten with the grape. Rarely, there will be a few hard seeds. In cool climates the skin may be astringent, but the flavor is good enough that most people overlook that. One grower with winemaking experience found that Venus had enough tannin that it might be useful in blending in wine. Venus can be spur pruned, but production and cluster size are slightly greater with cane training. Ripens about four weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, Blue, table/ juice, early mid-seaon, red/orange fall foilage, -15º F

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