Item Synonyms Description
Alden reddish-blue variety with very large clusters and large berries. Berries have firm texture and an adherent skin with a mild labrusca and muscat flavor.
Almeria green-skinned, small-seeded, medium-large fruit with firm, juicy flesh, and tangy sweetness. Ripens late midseason, fall through mid-winter.
Aurore (Seibel 5279) The most widely planted non-labrusca grape in New York. Processors have used Aurore to extend the harvest season since the fruit matures in late August and early September, before most other varieties are ripe. The vine is productive and vigorous, and produces large bunches of amber colored berries. Bird damage and fruit rot are often a problem. Wine quality is poor and it is being replaced by interspecific varieties of higher quality. The major use has been for bulk wine production, frequently blended with V. labrusca varieties.
Autumn Royal blue-skinned, seedless, medium to large oval fruit with a crisp, sweet-tasting flesh. Ripens late mid-season, fall through early winter.
Baco noir An extremely vigorous variety which is best grown on heavy soils. Excessive vigor often occurs on light soils, increasing the risk of winter injury. Early bud break increases probability of spring freeze damage. The variety is also sensitive to attack by soil-borne virus diseases. The fruit is usually high in acid and produce wines of good quality which are usually deeply pigmented but low in tannin content.
Baresana white, seeded, large, round-oval fruit with juicy, sweet flesh. Ripens mid-season.
Beauty Seedless Also known as Black Beauty. blue-skinned, seedless, small to medium-sized, oval fruit with firm flesh and spicy flavor. Ripens early, mid-spring to summer.
Black Beauty Also known as Beauty Seedless. These are the only seedless black grapes. They are spicy and sweet, resembling Concords in flavor.
Black Corinth purple-black, seedless, very small fruit that is crunchy and very sweet. Also known as Zante currant or champagne grape. (Zante is the name of the Greek island where these grapes were cultivated 2,000 years ago.) Ripens mid-season in summer.
Bluebell American; seed blue grapes; for juice and fresh eating; ripens early; excellent in cold winter regions; cane or spur prune.
Break
Buffalo produces medium-sized, loose bunches of blue grapes with a fruity labrusca flavor. The vines are hardy and vigorous but susceptible to powdery mildew. Brittleness of cluster rachises can also be a problem.
Cabernet franc Should be considered as an alternative or a supplement to Cabernet Sauvignon. It is the most cold hardy V. vinifera variety we have tested. The fruit ripens earlier and has produced quality wines more consistently than has that of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cabernet Sauvignon One of the most cold hardy and disease resistant V. vinifera varieties. Although late ripening, satisfactory levels of sugar in most New York production areas are usually attained. However, sugar alone does not determine wine quality, and consistent superior wine quality has only been achieved in the warmer production areas.
Calmeria These pale green, oval grapes are so elongated that they are sometimes called Lady Finger grapes. They have a mildly sweet flavor, comparatively thick skin, and a few small seeds.
Canadice more winter hardy than most seedless grapes, although trunk injury has occurred on some sites. It produces medium clusters with small red berries that are similar to Delaware in flavor and appearance. With cordon training systems and careful management, Canadice clusters may average 0.5 lb., and the vines can be extremely productive. Fruit rot is a problem in wet years because the clusters are excessively compact.
Candice red-skinned, seedless, small, oval fruit with juicy flesh and mild red grapey flavor. Ripens mid-season.
Cardinal A cross between the Flame Tokay and the Ribier, these large, dark red grapes have a pearly gray finish, a full, fruity flavor, and few seeds.
Cascade (Seibel 13053) A productive and moderately hardy variety. The medium to large loose clusters ripen early. Bird damage is often a problem. Wines are generally light in color and body with low acidity. Because of its susceptibility to soil borne virus diseases and generally low wine quality, acreage has declined dramatically since 1975.
Catawba Second to the Concord in popularity, the purplish-red Catawba is named for a river in Maryland, where it was discovered in the 1820s. It is a medium-sized, oval, seeded grape with an intense, sweet flavor. The Catawba is mainly used to make juices and is rarely found in the market as a table grape.
Cayuga White Named at Geneva in 1972, is one of the most productive and disease resistant varieties grown in New York. Its wine has been highly rated, having medium body, and good balance. An important positive attribute is its versatility; it lends itself to making semi-sweet wines emphasizing the fruity aromas, and is also made as a dry, less fruity wine with oak aging. When harvested early, it may produce a very attractive sparkling wine with good acidity, good structure, and pleasant aromas. When over-ripe, however, it can develop strong hybrid aromas with slight American overtones. The excellent cultural characteristics and high wine quality indicate an important future for this variety in New York.
Chambourcin (Joannes-Seyve 26-205) A late ripening grape which may produce a highly rated red wine when fruit fully matures. It requires a long growing season and a site less subject to low winter temperatures. The large, moderately loose bunches set medium sized blue berries. The vine is very productive and cluster thinning is required.
Champagne These are not the dried fruit of the currant plant, but a mispronunciation of the grape’s name, Corinth.
Chancellor (Seibel 7053) Once widely planted in France for table wine production. It is moderately cold hardy and productive, but requires cluster thinning. In terms of wine quality, Chancellor is among the better French-American varieties. Planting might be more widespread if the clusters were less susceptible to downy mildew and the foliage less susceptible to powdery mildew.
Chardonel (Plant patent 7860) was named by Cornell University in 1990 due to superior performance in Michigan and Arkansas. Cold hardiness has been nearly as good as for Seyval in New York, but good locations with long growing seasons are required to fully ripen the fruit. This cross of Seyval x Chardonnay produces an excellent wine when fully ripened, with fruit aromas characteristic of Chardonnay and Seyval. The potential for sparkling wine production appears to be good.
Chardonnay The most widely planted V. vinifera variety in New York. Relative to other V. vinifera varieties, it is cold hardy, but not so hardy as White Riesling or Cabernet franc. Its advantages include very high wine quality for both still and sparkling table wines; early and reliable fruit and wood maturity; and moderate vigor. The primary disadvantage is relatively high susceptibility to Botrytis bunch rot. For that reason, the use of vertical training combined with summer pruning and leaf removal have often produced superior results. Of the several clones tested at Geneva, we have found the locally available New York clone to be superior to those from Foundation Plant Materials Service of California. Those clones tend to set excessive crops of very compact clusters which rot easily and do not ripen reliably. Their vegetative growth is excessive and winter cold injury often is the result.
Chasselas red-skinned, seedless, plump, juicy fruit.
Chelois (Seibel 10878) Wine quality ranks highly among the French-American hybrids. It has, however, experienced a major decline in acreage in New York as demand for red wine decreased during the 1980's. There has been a resurgence of interest in Chelois in the early 1990's as consumer interest in red wine again increased. Chelois is suitable for blending with other red hybrids (Chambourcin, Baco noir and Chancellor) or V. vinifera varieties. Vines are healthy, vigorous and productive, but require cluster thinning to prevent overcropping. Berry splitting and subsequent bunch rots may be severe in some years. Because of susceptibility to winter damage, Chelois should be planted on better sites. Small blue-black berries are borne on compact, medium-sized clusters.
Christmas Rose dark red, seeded, large, oval fruit that is very crunchy with a juicy, sweet fruity flavor. Ripens late midseason, late summer to mid-winter.
Colobel (Seibel 8357) produces a heavily pigmented juice useful for blending as a coloring agent. Wine quality by itself is poor. Vines are very productive but just slightly cold hardy. The large clusters of blue-black berries ripen late.
Concord This variety originated in the 1840s near the Massachusetts town whose name it bears. A typical labrusca grape, Concords are round, blue-black grapes with a powdery bloom. Their thick skin and heady, sweet aroma surpass their bland-to-sour flavor. They are most commonly used in grape preserves and juice. Grapes sold as “white Concords” are actually Niagaras.
Concord Seedless similar in flavor and texture to Concord, but is unrelated. The clusters and berries are much smaller than those of Concord. The fruit matures earlier, has high flavor, and makes excellent pies and preserves. Productivity is erratic, and it is not recommended for commercial planting. In warm years, the variety produces fully developed seeds.
Crimson Seedless European; seedless red fruit; for fresh eating, raisins; ripens late; cane prune.
De Chaunac (Seibel 9549) A very productive and vigorous variety. Cluster thinning is required to maintain yield and fruit quality. The clusters are large and loose, resulting in few problems with bunch rots at harvest. Wine is only fair in quality and the vine is subject to soil borne virus problems. Because of shrinking demand, acreage has declined dramatically in recent years.
Delaware red-skinned, seeded, small to medium-sized roundish fruit with sweet, juicy flesh. Ripens midseason, late summer through fall.
Delaware These small, pinkish-red grapes have a more tender skin than other American varieties. They are sweet and juicy.
Delight European; seedless dark green yellowish grape; for fresh eating and raisins; ripens early; spur prune.
Dutchess A late-ripening white grape of V. vinifera and V. labrusca ancestry. The fruit has a less American flavor than other varieties of V. labrusca ancestry. Because of the relatively low cold tolerance, the variety should be planted only on very favorable sites. Other interspecific hybrid varieties now largely fill the role that Dutchess once played in New York wine production.
Early Muscat European; seeded green fruit; use for muscat wine; ripens early midseason; spur prune.
Edelweiss produces early-ripening fruit similar to that of its parent, Ontario, but the vine is much more winter hardy.
Einset Seedless (Plant patent 6160) is a winter-hardy, red seedless grape with a unique, strawberrylike flavor. The medium-sized clusters produce bright red, ovoid berries that have good storage potential until the end of November. The clusters respond well to gibberellic acid or cane girdling to improve cluster compactness and berry size. The skin is slightly tough and adheres to the tender flesh. Cultural problems include susceptibility to fungal diseases and a seed remnant that is occasionally noticeable. Along with Vanessa, Einset Seedless probably has the most commercial promise of the red seedless varieties that can be grown successfully in New York.
Elvira A white grape which descends from Vitis riparia, the Riverbank or Frost Grape. The variety ripens at Concord season and is one of the most productive varieties grown in New York. It is used primarily for bulk wine production. Because the skin is thin and the cluster is very compact, cracking of the berries results in some seasons if the grapes are harvested at full maturity. Current practice is to harvest the fruit before cracking becomes a problem. The must is typically high in acidity. See also Ventura.
Emperor These small-seeded red grapes may vary in color from red-violet to deep purple. Their flavor is mild and somewhat cherry-like (they have a lower sugar content than many other table grapes). Thick-skinned Emperors are good shippers and stand up well to consumer handling. They also store well, lengthening their period of availability.
Emperor red-skinned, seeded, large, oval fruit with firm, crisp flesh with a mild cherry taste. Ripens midseason to late, late fall to early spring.
Exotic These blue-black grapes are seeded and firm-fleshed, and resemble Ribiers.
Fantasy Seedless blue-black skinned, seedless, large oval fruit that is firm and very sweet. Ripens mid-season.
Flame Seedless red-skinned, seedless, small to medium-sized, round fruit with crunchy bite and mild sweetness. Ripens early to mid-season, early summer through fall.
Flame Tokay red-skinned, seedless, large to very large, oblong fruit with crisp, juicy, sweet flesh. Ripens midseason, early fall through late fall.
Fredonia A blue-black Concord-type grape with very large berries that ripen about two weeks Concord. The flavor typified by Concord which is so desirable for juice and jelly, is lacking in Fredonia, yet Fredonia is utilized for both juice production as well as roadside table grape sales. With careful pruning, vigor and production may approach Concord levels. The fruit clusters are susceptible to downy mildew.
Frontenac A recently released red wine grape (Landot 4511 x V. riparia) from the University of Minnesota, 1996. The vine is extremely vigorous, productive, and cold hardy. Foliage and fruit are highly resistant to downy mildew, and the fruit are resistant to Botrytis bunch rot. High sugar levels along with high acidity are typical at harvest. The acidity usually requires some adjustment during the wine-making process. Wines have been characterized by some tasters as having deep color with elderberry, cherry, and perfumy notes. Other tasters have found it to be too vinous and candy-like. More information on Frontenac
Frontenac Gris A grey-fruited sport of Frontenac used to make white wines. The vine has essentially the same vineyard characteristics as Frontenac. However, the wine is quite different, said to have peach, apricot, pineapple and citrus aromas, with no herbaceous or labrusca character. This variety has not been tested at the Geneva Experiment Station.
Gamay noir Has only recently been tested in New York. It is the primary red wine variety of Beaujolais in France, and New York wines have been well received. We do not have enough experience to judge its real potential, and so plantings should be considered experimental.
Gewurztraminer Has red fruit but makes white wine with very distinctive spicy aromas that have a selective market appeal. It is distinctly less cold hardy than the best adapted V. vinifera varieties, and its high vigor and long vegetative growth cycle have created problems in many New York vineyards. The large vines result in shaded fruit, uneven ripening, and less than optimal cold hardiness. On favorable sites and with appropriate canopy management techniques, however, production and wine quality can be excellent. We have only tested a single clone from California.
Glenora Glenora grapes are a medium to large, loose, heavy, well filled clusters. The Glenora grape vine produces a small to medium, seedless bluish-black grape with thin, smooth skin. Glenora grapes are sweet, spicy, fine-textured, highly flavored flesh. High vigor, keeps well on the vine.
Golden Muscat produces very large clusters of large, oval, amber berries. The late-ripening fruit may be high in acid if not fully ripened; full maturity is not reached reliably in most New York locations. Clusters are susceptible to bunch rot. The flavor is a rich combination of muscat and labrusca. The vine is hardy and productive.
GR 7 - (Geneva Red 7) (Buffalo x Baco noir) highly vigorous, highly productive and winter hardy, with moderate resistance to diseases. 'GR 7' makes dark red wines with a classical hybrid aroma. It has better tannin structure than Baco noir and De Chaunac. It still has a short finish. It is best made as a light (not heavily extracted) wine. Use hot pressing, short skin contact time or some carbonic maceration. It has a place in traditional red hybrid blended wines, and is already in limited commercial production. Predicted temperature of 50% primary bud kill in mid winter = -17.1 F *
Himrod American hybrid; seedless white fruit; spicy flavor; hardy in cold winters; ripens very early; cane prune.
Himrod produced from a cross between Ontario and Thompson Seedless, is the most successful table grape released from the Cornell University grape breeding program (1952). It produces large bunches of white seedless grapes with excellent, honeylike flavor and melting, juicy texture. The clusters are loosely filled, but cane girdling, gibberellic acid treatments, or thinning may be used to increase cluster compactness and improve berry size (Zabadal, 1992). The brittle rachis may break when handled, and the berries may shell in storage. The rachis is also subject to bunch stem necrosis, a poorly understood disorder that causes a shriveling of the cluster stem, often just before harvest. Despite these cultural defects, Himrod is currently the most commercially important of the seedless grapes grown in New York.
Horizon Named at Geneva, NY in 1982, is suitable for production of bulk white wine. The low acidity makes it useful in blending. Wines have been described as a neutral and free of labrusca and hybrid flavors, but in some recent samples, labrusca and hybrid aromas have been noted by some taste panelists. The vine is very productive and winter hardy, however Botrytis bunch rot is a problem in some years.
Interlaken American hybrid; seedless green or yellow; fruity flavor; for fresh eating; ripens early; matures in cool regions; cane or spur prune.
Isabella An old black, labrusca-type variety used primarily for wine. In other parts of the world Isabella is one of the most common grapes of its type, but in New York it is rare, having been replaced by other varieties. Cold damage can occur in severe winters.
Italia Also known as Italia Muscat This variety has taken the place of the older Muscat varieties, which today are mainly used for making wine. Muscats are large, greenish-gold, seeded grapes with a winy sweetness and fragrance. The Italias have a milder flavor than the older varieties.
Italia Muscat yellow green-skinned, seeded, very large fruit with tender juicy flesh with a heavy, sweet muscat flavor. Ripens midseason, late summer through late fall.
Ives A black grape of the V. labrusca type that is used to add color to red wines and juices. It is very subject to damage by the air pollutant, ozone, which may cause diminished vigor and productivity.
Jupiter (Plant patent 13,309) produces naturally large, oval, firm, seedless blue berries on medium sized clusters. Maturity is early to mid-season. The flavor is excellent, with a mild muscat character. There is relatively little experience growing Jupiter in New York. It is said to be very productive, and more winter hardy than Marquis and Himrod, but not as hardy as Reliance and Mars.
Kay Gray (Plant patent 4943), released from a private breeding program in Wisconsin operated by Elmer Swenson, is listed as one of the hardiest grapes grown in the upper Midwest. The golden fruit ripens very early, and the vine is quite disease resistant. Clusters and berries are small.
Kishmishi same as Thompson Seedless.
La Crescent A recent introduction (2002) from the University of Minnesota, formerly known as MN1166. Noted for its excellent winter hardiness and suitability to northern climates, it is usually harvested at mid-season. The white wine has a distinct apricot, citrus and pineapple aromas, and is also suitable for blending. Yields are moderate.
Lakemont A sister to Interlaken and Himrod - all three are daughters of the classic Thompson Seedless grape, but more suited to home growers. Lakemont ripens a couple of weeks after Himrod, and has larger, crunchy, non-slipskin fruit and a delicious, rich, sweet flavor. This is the last white table grape to ripen in most regions. Grows in USDA Zone 5-9. Ripens Sept/Oct. in the PNW.
Lenoir Also known as Spanish Black, El Paso and Black Spanish. A man named Lenoir who cultivated it near Stateburg, South Carolina, in the vicinity of the Santee River sometime in the 18th century.
Leon Millot (Kuhlmann 194-2) An early ripening black grape produced from the same cross as Maréchal Foch. The wines are similar, with distinct berry aromas. Vines tend to be similar as well, although Léon Millot tends to be more vigorous and productive.
Limberger Grown under several different names in the northern production areas of Europe (e.g. Lemberger, Blaufränkisch). There has not been wide commercial testing of the variety in New York, but results to date have been favorable. Cold hardiness appears acceptable and Botrytis resistance is good. The clusters are large and yield potential is high, which may dictate the need for crop control in some years. Wines have been highly rated; they have deep red color and rich tannins.
Marechal Foch (Kuhlmann 188-2) A very early ripening black grape with small berries and clusters that produce a fruity light red table wine. The vines are hardy and medium in vigor and production. Maréchal Foch should be grafted on a resistant rootstock to ensure adequate vigor. Birds are attracted to the small black berries.
Marquis (Plant patent 11,012) was named and released at Geneva in 1996. Clusters are very large, medium compact, and attractive, with large, round, yellow-green berries (3.5 - 5.0 gm/berry). Texture is melting, and the taste is very flavorful. Ripe fruit holds well on the vine, with the flavors going from a mild fruity flavor when first ripe, to a stronger Labrusca flavor two weeks later. Giberrellic acid treatment is not recommended, but well-timed cluster thinning and cane girdling can increase berry size and improve cluster compactness. Vines are moderately hardy, medium in vigor and productive.
Marroo Seedless blue-black, seedless, medium-sized fruit with firm, juicy flesh and sweet, mellow flavor. Ripens mid-season.
Mars (Plant patent 5680), a release from the University of Arkansas, is a vigorous, blue seedless grape. The flavor is mildly labrusca, similar to Campbell's Early, and the berries are slipskin (having a tough skin that separates readily from the pulpy flesh). Clusters are medium sized, cylindrical, and well filled. Hardiness has been good at Geneva, New York, and the vines are resistant to several major diseases. Vines may bear fruit precociously, and production should be controlled on young vines to prevent delays in establishment. Mars has been recommended in Arkansas as a home garden grape with limited potential for commercial marketing.
Melody (Plant patent 6159) was introduced by Cornell University in 1985. The young wine is fruity with hints of apricot and floral aromas. Quality is among the better of the white hybrids. The vine is moderately disease resistant and very productive and vigorous. Selection of well exposed canes when pruning will ensure an adequate crop each year. No cluster thinning is required. Melody is in limited commercial production and acreage is increasing.
Merlot Has produced superior wines in New York. However, it has a very long vegetative growth cycle and tends to produce dense, shaded canopies. This leads to bunch rot and reduced winter cold tolerance. It is not recommended for any but the most favored sites in New York.
Moore's Diamond Resembles Niagara in fruit and Concord in vine and is one of the few white American varieties which have been used to produce dry table wine. It is also desirable as a table grape, but the skins may crack during wet seasons.
Muscat of Alexandria European; seeded green or amber fruit; for wine; ripens late midseason; spur prune.
Muscat Ottonel A productive variety which does well in most years. However, if wood maturity is restricted by cool summer temperatures or when winter cold is severe, cold injury results. It’s cold hardiness is similar to that of Gewürztraminer. It makes excellent muscat flavored wines, and is the best adapted of the traditional muscat varieties in New York. Resistance to bunch rot is moderate.
Neptune (Plant patent 12,302), a 1998 release from the University of Arkansas, is a yellow-green seedless grape cultivar of moderate vigor. The clusters are large and very showy, but productivity is moderate. Flavor is mild and fruity, while fruit texture is firm with a relatively thick skin, similar to many eastern seedless grapes. There is relatively little experience growing Neptune in New York. It is reported to be more winter hardy than Venus.
New York Muscat reddish-blue grape with a rich muscat-labrusca flavor. The vines are moderately vigorous and produce medium-sized, loosely filled clusters.
Niabell blue-skinned, seeded, very large round fruit that is sweet to semi-sweet. Slip-skin Concord type. Ripens mid-season.
Niagara These large, amber-colored grapes have a grayish bloom. Niagaras may be either round or egg-shaped. They are somewhat coarse-fleshed, and are less sweet than most other American varieties. They are often sold as white Concord grapes and are used to make white grape juice.
Niagra green-skinned, seeded, medium to large oval fruit; the flesh is juicy, foxy and sweet. Ripens mid-season.
Norton (Cynthiana) Norton has small to medium clusters which bear firm, round, black berries.
Ontario full-flavored American white grape that ripens early. Vines are vigorous, productive, and easy to grow.
Perlette green-skinned, seedless, medium-sized round fruit with firm, juicy, sweet flesh. Use for desserts or raisins. Ripens very early, late spring through mid-summer.
Perlette Seedless These round, crisp, green grapes have a frosty-white “bloom” on their surface.
Petite Verdot Classic Bordeaux variety. Yields have been low at Geneva, fruit maturity is very late and wine quality has been mediocre at best. We only recommend small trial plantings of the variety for producers who wish to produce complex blends of Bordeaux red wine varieties.
Pinot blanc A white fruited form of Pinot noir, is an important white wine variety in Germany, Alsace and the Loire Valley of France. Adaptability to New York growing conditions is similar to Chardonnay, and it has more resistance to bunch rot . It seems worthy of more extensive culture in New York.
Pinot gris The "grey" (light red) form of Pinot noir. The clone we have tested is not as cold hardy as our Pinot blanc clone, but is as hardy as the better Pinot noir clones we have tested. It too appears to resist bunch rot. Pinot gris makes a fuller bodied white wine than does Pinot blanc. Both the blanc and gris forms add to the quality of sparkling wine cuvées and make interesting still wines. They have the potential to offer an interesting alternative to Chardonnay or White Riesling for quality wine production.
Price very early ripening Concord-type grape developed at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Clusters are small to medium sized with large berries. The skin is thinner than on most labrusca-type grapes.
Queen red-skinned, seeded, large fruit with firm, juicy flesh, and very mild sweetness. Ripens in midseason, late summer.
Queen of the Vineyard The Queen of Vineyards was cultivated in 1916 by crossing the Queen Elisabeth with the Pearl of Csaba. The berries of this grape are huge, elliptical, with a thick skin with coating. The flesh is aromatic, sweet with a muscat aroma. The berries have a golden color.
Ravat 34 A selection of the French hybridizer, J.F. Ravat. It is early ripening, moderately vigorous, productive and winter hardy. Wine quality is good. There is limited commercial experience with this variety in New York. Yield trial results from Fredonia, New York indicate excellent potential.
Red Globe These very large red grapes have a crisp texture and large seeds. The flavor is quite delicate.
Red Malaga Ranging in color from pinkish-red to purple, these grapes are crisp and mildly sweet. Their rather thick skins make them good shippers.
Reliance (Plant patent 5174). From the University of Arkansas (1982), produces large clusters of round, red, medium-sized berries. The skins are tender and the flesh is melting in texture, with a sweet labrusca flavor. Coloring may be poor in some years, and fruit often crack in wet seasons. Cold hardiness is among the highest of the seedless varieties.
Ribier These large, blue-black grapes, which grow in generous bunches, have tender skins. They are sweeter than the look-alike Exotic and arrive at market later in the summer.
Rougeon (Seibel 5898) Ahardy and very productive but sometimes exhibits a biennial pattern of bearing. The wine is of high color and is used primarily for blending.
Ruby Seedless red-skinned, seedless, medium-sized, oval fruit with firm, crisp, juicy flesh that is sweet-tart taste. Ripens late mid-season, late summer to early winter.
Sauvignon blanc Has produced outstanding wines in New York. However several major problems with the variety suggest that it should be planted with caution. It is a very vigorous variety with a long vegetative cycle. Cold hardiness is difficult to attain in our climate, and its maximum hardiness appears to be quite low. The clusters are very susceptible to Botrytis infection and the strong vegetative growth produces a large canopy which increases bunch rot potential and reduces vine fruitfulness. We have only tested a single clone from California. Clones from Europe are reported to have shorter vegetative cycles and might be better adapted to New York.
Scarlet seedless for fresh eating; ripens midseason; cane prune.
Schuyler for fresh eating; ripens midseason; spur or cane prune.
Scuppernong The first cultivated wine grape in this country was discovered in North Carolina on the banks of the Scuppernong river in the early 16th century. Today the Scuppernong is mostly turned into jams, jellies, juices, and local wines.
Seneca white grape with oval berries on medium-sized clusters. Berries have a firm texture, and the skin adheres to the flesh. The flavor is excellent, with pleasing labrusca overtones. The vine is susceptible to winter damage and powdery mildew.
Seyval (Seyve-Villard 5-276, commonly marketed as Seyval blanc) is one of the most widely planted hybrid grapes east of the Rocky Mountains. When harvested at optimal maturity, its wines have attractive grassy, hay, and melon aromas. The body tends to be thin, and malolactic fermentation and barrel fermentation/oak aging are used to enhance quality. The vine tends to overbear and must be thinned to ensure proper ripening and to maintain vine size. Grafting is also recommended on all but the most fertile sites. Fruit clusters are very susceptible to Botrytis bunch rot.
Sheridan produces large, compact clusters with large, black, Concord-type berries that ripen very late in the season. The vine is productive, vigorous, hardy, and easy to grow.
Steuben bluish-black grape that produces long, tapering, compact clusters that are among the most attractive of all dessert cultivars. The flavor is sweet with a spicy tang. The vines are hardy, vigorous, productive, and easily grown by home gardeners. Cluster thinning is usually required.
Suffolk The 'Suffolk' Red seedless grape is one of the tastiest seedless grape varieties. Suffolk Seedless grapes are an American red dessert variety with very tender skin and taste delicious eaten fresh. This grape is moderately winter hardy and is a good choice for a garden or commercial production. Self-pollinating.
Sugarone green-skinned, seedless, large, elongated, plump fruit with firm, crisp flesh, and light, sweet flavor. Ripens early.
Swenson Red produces large bunches with large red berries that may turn reddish-blue if allowed to remain on the vine. Hardiness in Minnesota is marginal, but the variety easily withstands the winters in most parts of New York. The berries are medium to large, uneven in size, and firm in texture with an adherent skin. The flavor is mildly fruity and pleasant. Downy mildew can be severe. This variety was released jointly by the University of Minnesota and Elmer Swenson, Osceola, Wisconsin, in 1980.
Thompson Seedless Also Known as Sultanina. green-skinned, seedless, small to medium elongated fruit that has a crisp, juicy flesh that is sweet. Also used for raisins. Ripens early to mid-season, summer through fall.
Tokay Also known as Flame Tokay. A sweeter version of the Flame Seedless, these are large, elongated, crunchy, orange-red grapes.
Traminette Named and released at Geneva in 1996. This Gewürztraminer hybrid produces wines of excellent quality similar in aroma to its well-known parent. There is good balance in the must between levels of sugar, acid, and pH. The vine is much more winter hardy than its Gewürztraminer parent, moderately productive, and just slightly susceptible to powdery mildew and Botrytis. Maturity is late mid-season, Oct. 5-10 in Geneva. Flavor expression with Traminette is best when the must is given some (24 to 48 hours) skin contact with 50 mg/L SO2 at 5 C. Wines made with skin contact do not develop objectionable bitterness or high pH, though this should always be monitored. If necessary, pH should be adjusted before fermentation (should be no higher than 3.4). In fruit grown in warmer regions increased bitterness and a high pH must might become a problem. Then shorter skin contact time should be used. If very long skin contact times are used, the typical floral / spicy Gewürztraminer flavors may shift to muscat-like flavors. Typically, the wines made with some skin contact have strong spice and floral aromas, a full structure, and long aftertaste. The wine can be made dry or sweet. Mouthfeel of the dry wine is good with nice texture and good spice feel.
Trollinger Has been a consistent vineyard performer in tests at Geneva. In Europe the variety is grown widely in northern regions to produce early maturing, light red table wines. Experimental planting is suggested for producers who are interested in wines of this type. A cross of Trollinger named Rotberger has also been a consistent producer of enjoyable fruity, red wines.
Tudor Premium Red red-skinned, seedless, large fruit with sweet, crisp flavor. Ripens late mid-season, late summer through late fall.
Valiant American; seeded blue fruit; for juice and jelly; very cold hardy; ripens early; cane prune.
Van Buren early-ripening, Concord-type grape. Vines are hardy but somewhat susceptible to downy mildew, especially at bloom. Clusters are somewhat smaller and more prone to cracking than clusters of Price, which ripens at about the same time.
Vanessa Developed by HRIO, Canada, and is a red dessert grape of excellent quality. The vine is moderately vigorous and among the hardiest of seedless grapes. Grafting may be desirable on many sites to increase vine size (vines grafted on Teleki 5C at trials in Fredonia, New York, however, have shown poor fruit set with very small berries). The seed remnant is usually large and soft; when noticeable it is sometimes a cause for limited marketability. Berries are medium in size on medium, well-filled clusters. Storage potential is good. The flavor is mild and fruity, and berry texture is firm. The fruit quality is among the best of the red seedless types.
Ventura Developed in Ontario, Canada in 1974. A cross of Chelois x Elvira, it is a very productive, cold hardy, crack resistant replacement for Elvira. The berries are high in sugar as well as acidity, and ripen with Concord. Although considered a hybrid by its parentage, the wine has a pronounced labrusca aroma and flavor. The vine is susceptible to tomato ringspot virus and may need grafting on virus infected sites.
Venus From the University of Arkansas. A vigorous and productive blue-black seedless grape. The medium-large clusters ripen early, producing large berries with mild labrusca flavors. In New York, the seed remnants are hard and noticeable, and fruit rot has been a problem at harvest. Fruit quality is only fair.
Venus Blue Seedless Medium to large size grape. It is blue-black colored. Although it is considered seedless, some years there could be a trace of a seed. Its clusters are tightly packed, medium to large sized. It has a sweet fruity flavor with a suggestion of muscat. The Venus grape is excellent for fresh eating, preserves, jellies, wine, and juice. It ripens in August to September. Cold hardy to U.S.D.A. Zone 7. Disease-resistant.
Vidal blanc (Vidal 256) A heavily productive white wine grape which produces good quality wine when the fruit reaches maturity. It requires sites with long growing seasons and moderate winter temperatures. Small berries are borne on very large, compact, tapering clusters. Cluster thinning is required to prevent overcropping. Plantings in New York have increased from 35 acres in 1975 to 152 in 1990.
Vignoles (Ravat 51) produces an excellent dessert wine, especially when picked late. The fruit can develop very high sugar content while acidity remains high. Vines are very winter hardy with moderate vigor and productivity. Bud break is late, reducing the risk of spring freeze injury. Clusters are small, very compact and very susceptible to Botrytis bunch rot. Acreage doubled between 1975 and 1990.
Villard blanc (Seyve-Villard 12-375) A very productive late ripening grape, producing large loose clusters of oval berries. It is best on sites with a longer growing season than Geneva. Wine quality is average. The fruit may be sold as a dessert grape when fully ripe.
Villard noir (Seyve-Villard 18-315) A late ripening, productive variety which, on favorable sites, produces good quality red wine. For best performance, choose a site with moderate winter temperatures and a long growing season. Grafted vines are recommended to improve vigor, especially on heavy soils. Cluster thinning is also necessary to prevent overcropping.
Vincent Released in 1967 by the Horticultural Research Institute of Ontario (HRIO) at Vineland, Canada. The vine is medium in vigor, very productive and ripens late. This dark blue grape produces a very dark juice that is useful for blending with varieties with low pigment content. Care must be taken to control powdery mildew.
Vivant Introduced in 1983 at HRIO, Canada. This white wine variety is vigorous and productive but sensitive to fungal diseases. Interest in this variety in Canada has been decreasing. No cluster thinning is required.
White Riesling Widely planted because of its high relative cold hardiness and the excellent quality of both still and sparkling wines made from its fruit. New York White Riesling wines are probably superior to any except those of its homeland in Germany. The major disadvantage is the susceptibility of its fruit to Botrytis bunch rot and the relatively late harvest date. White Riesling quite reliably reaches the maturity levels commonly chosen in Europe (17-20% soluble solids) for the variety. The bunch rot susceptibility suggests that extra canopy management techniques such as leaf removal and extra sprays to combat bunch rot may be advantageous. Several excellent clones are available, but older non-virus tested ones should be avoided as they have reduced production potential in comparison to certified clones.
Yates hardy, late-ripening red grape with juicy, sweet flesh, moderate labrusca flavor, and tough skin. Vines are very productive and may require moderate cluster thinning. The fruit keeps well in cold storage.