Farmington grape library (2023)

Farmington grape library (1)

All varietal texts are by Lon Rombough in his words. All varieties listed on this page can be grown live at the Farmington Grape Library on Farmington Road. Most varieties are represented by only three live plants. Every once in a while I bother to plant just one plant because it's "new", others, like McFadden or Pinot Gris, are represented with 9 or 12 plants.

Vinifera kernlose variety

Beauty Seedless (Reina del Viñedo x Black Kishmish)

Bred by H.P. Olmo at the University of California at Davis. The first black seedless grape produced by crianza. The small, egg-shaped berries have a slightly spicy flavor. Very large 5-pound clusters are possible with thinning, but when clusters are this large, there is a tendency for botrytis to develop on the inside without showing on the outside. If an affected bunch is handled, it will break down and rot. Regular untreated grapes are small enough to allow air to circulate through them to prevent rot from easily starting. The vine hardens off in early fall, so the vines survived a 5º F freeze on November 5, 1985 in western Oregon with much less damage than other vines. Beauty Seedless vines are very vigorous, second only to Centennial. Produces well enough when spur pruned into ridges, but at high potency, training the vine into sticks will help reduce potency.

Vinifera, Seedless, Blue, Panel/Raisins, Early, Large Clusters, Hardy to -10º F

Vinifera kernlose variety

Black currants (also known as 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, although they are less common than the black form. One of the few parthenocarpic grapes on the market. Other grapes are seedless because the seeds begin to develop and then burst. Parthenocarpic grapes do not have any seed development. Black Corinth has the smallest berries of all seedless grapes and must be sprayed with hormones or girded on the vine to ensure the berries are evenly seated and of any size. Without treatment, the berries are usually the size of the head of a pin. Very susceptible to powdery mildew, even for a Vinifera grape. The name "champagne grape" comes from a picture in Sunset magazine. Written by Allan Corrin, a greengrocer whose company grows most of the Black Corinth sold in the US, it featured an icy bouquet of Black Corinth with a glass of champagne. In fact, there is an old American grape called "Champagne" which is a very thick and sour tasting Labrusca grape. For best production, trim Black Corinth on the temples.

Vinifera Seedless Blue Panel/Raisins Mid Season Severe powdery mildew requires special treatment. Also known as "The Champagne Grape", hardy to 0º F

Seedless American variety

Bronx Seedless (Goff x Iona) x Sultanina.

Introduced in 1937. From Cornell University. The second seedless grape released from a controlled breeding program. In New York, other varieties have surpassed them, but this seedless red grape still has a following in parts of the West. While the strain cracks in rainy weather, it performs well in dry weather. The taste of Bronx is fruity and very pleasant, similar to that of Reliance. The clusters are quite large, but tend to be loose and may have trouble fitting well. This results in many small, seedless berries in a few years. Vigorous and productive, the vine has strange, chrome-yellow leaves that are a natural trait, not a disease or problem. Ripens one to two weeks earlier than Concord. Produces best when trained with sticks. Hardy to around -10 F.

American seedless red panel mid-season large clusters/may crack hardy to -10º F

Seedless American variety

Canadice (Bad x Himrod).

From the Cornell University Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. One of the first second generation hybrids to be released. Produced with the hope of obtaining more resistant seedless grapes. The compact clusters of red berries are beautiful, although the berry size is small. The flavor is a mild Delaware-like Labrusca flavor. Canadice is less vigorous than other cultivars but is extremely productive, requiring pruning to two shoot spurs in cordons and even then may require thinning of bunches to avoid over-harvesting. Under ideal conditions, Canadice is hardy down to -20oF, but if the vines are over-harvested, the canes can die in temperatures above freezing. Canadice also matures in cool climates. It is one of the few that matures right on Puget Sound. Ripens about four weeks before Concord.

American seedless red table/juiced early, can survive/good in cold climates, hardy to -20º F

Vinifera kernlose variety

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

Bred by H.P. Olmo at the University of California at Davis. A magnificent white grape that is firm, crisp, with a mild nutmeg flavor and some of the largest berries of any seedless grape. This strain should have been a winner. However, the clusters have a mixture of berries of different sizes and the stems do not stay green when shipped, two things that have ruined them for commercial sale. An excellent variety of raisins with very large raisins that could be a specialty, but commercial users want small raisins for baking and processing. The skin is delicate and can crack in the rain when the fruit is ripe. Mostly a native variety. Extremely vigorous, with the vine that can reach a large size. Prune to rods

Vinifera, seedless, white, table/raisins, early mid-season, berries very large for a seedless/may be crack resistant to -5ºF

Seedless American variety

Challenger (paternity unknown)

Published by Southwestern Missouri State University. The crossing of this grape was done at Cornell University's Geneva, New York station, but the material was transferred to Missouri and the lineage was lost in the move. As a red grape, the performance of this strain was disappointing. The flavor is neutral to almost tasteless if it does not develop enough sweetness. If left hanging until prime has passed, the fruit sometimes develops an odd "fishy" texture. Production is good, but the vine is too vigorous, making it difficult to manage. The cultivar is hardy to around -10 F and has no particular disease resistance. Ripens about three weeks before Concord. Despite its flaws, it is a very pleasant grape and would do well in a warmer climate than mine.

American, seedless, red, panel, early mid-season, matures 3 weeks before concord, hardy to -10º F

Seedless American variety

Genuss (Queen of the Vineyard x Thompson Seedless).

Bred by H.P. Olmo at the University of California at Davis. A sister seedling to Perlette, somewhat the better of the two. The fruit is sweeter with significantly more sugar, ripens a little earlier, and has less cracked skin than Perlette. On the palate it is a light muscatel. The shoots have a tendency to short internodes which make the vines bushier. The result is a vine that is slower to establish but easier to manage. Easy to train to lacing up with spurs.

Vinifera, seedless, yellow, panel/raisins, early, hardy to -0º F

Seedless American variety

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

The late Dr. Norman Good of Lansing, MI, was a plant physiologist by trade, but he loved grapes and put considerable effort into growing them. "Dr. Bueno" was a selection that he sent me shortly before his death. It is a grape with white berries, seedless, with very large and beautiful clusters. The berries are neutral and very firm. It is moderately productive and rarely has more of one bunch per shoot, but the big bunches are beautiful and the quality is very close to Vinifera."Dr. Good" is the name I gave this selection, and I offer it, at least in part, in memory of a man who loved to "touch the grape," as he put it. Hardiness and disease resistance are currently unknown, good power once well established, production best when vines are cane pruned.

Seedless American, white, tabletop, early mid-season, resistance not yet established

Seedless American variety

Einset (Fredonia x Canner)

From the Cornell University Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. This seedless red variety can thrive in the right soil, with firm berries and a fruity flavor unlike few other grapes. However, vine yield and fruit quality vary greatly depending on the type of soil in which Einset is grown. If the soil is too heavy, the vine will have little vigor and the fruit will be small and tasteless. If there is more fertility than the vine would like, the grapes may become spongy with an odd fruity aftertaste. The vine is hardy to around -15oF. Disease resistance is about the same as varieties like Himrod and Interlaken. Train it to sticks for a sufficient production. Ripens three to four weeks earlier than Concord.

American, seedless, red, table/raisin, early, weather and soil related, hardy to -10º F

Vinifera kernlose variety

Flame Seedless (complex parentage).

Raised at the USDA station in Fresno, California. Being grown in the Northwest, Flames berries tend to be darker in color and the berries are smaller than those found in stores unless treated with hormones or girded. The vine is vigorous to the extreme. I grow mine without watering and still get 20 foot canes. More resistant to cracking than other Vinifera grapes, at least in part due to the open clusters, which dry quickly after rain. Cut back the spurs and leave at least 10 feet between the vines.

Vinifera, seedless, red, panel/raisin, early, resists cracking. High voltage. Common Red Seed Lot in Supermarkets, Hardy to -5º F

Seedless American variety

Glenora (Ontario x Russian Seedless).

From the Cornell University Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. Seedless blue. Vine vigor is excessive and not as productive as such a large vine could be. The flavor is very smooth and pleasant, but the clusters vary. Some may be perfect, with berries of uniform size; others are fibrous, with berries of different sizes on the same cluster. The berries crack when it rains at the time of ripening. but they seem to be able to "cure" something instead of rotting away. A curiosity for me is that, almost without exception, the bottom three berries of a grape are always green when the rest of the grape is ready. When frozen, Glenora berries look and taste very similar to blueberries. Prune to rods

American seedless blue panel early mid-season red/orange fall foliage hardy to -10º F

Seedless American variety

Himrod. (Ontario x Sultanina).

From the Cornell University Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. A white seedless variety from Geneva, New York. Large, loose clusters of oval, smooth but aromatic berries. The vine is too 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 places. The vine is excessively vigorous. The berry stalks are weak and the clusters tend to break if the fruit is not picked soon after ripening. Has some susceptibility to powdery mildew, but generally does not need to be controlled if well established. Hardy to around -15oF. It must be trained with sticks as it will not be fertile if trained with spurs.

American, seedless, white, panel/raisin, very early, canes need pruning, hardy to -15º F

Seedless American variety

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

Less vigorous than Himrod but matures about a week earlier and is much more productive, up to 30 lbs. per vine. Good grape for cool climates or places with short seasons. Hardy to around -15oF. The berries are firm, develop good sugars around 22oBrix in well filled to compact clusters. Interlaken is also the best variety I've had for raisins, and the berries make a good frozen fruit. The vine produces well when trained in cordons with two or three shoots.

American, seedless, white/yellow, panel/raisins, very early, -10º F

Seedless American variety

Jupiter (PVP) (complex kinship)

1998, University of Arkansas. A reddish-blue to blue seedless nutmeg variety with oval berries with firm flesh and tear resistance. Although 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. strength is good. Ripe between Venus and Reliance. Produces well when trained in cordons and pruned to two or three buds.

American Seedless Red/Blue Table/Raisins Early Midseason/Seedless Moscatel -10º F

Seedless American variety

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

This seedless white variety is the top bunch producer, yielding up to 35 pounds per vine. The grapes are very large, well filled to compact and quite beautiful. In the West they are tasteless, but in the East they have a mild Labrusca flavor. Keeps the best of all seedless varieties in the refrigerator. Lakemont is actually getting better at storage. Ripens about two weeks after Himrod. Produces best with cane training, but produces a decent crop when trained with spurs for cordoning.

Seedless American Green Board in early mid-season/ Keeps well in cold storage -15º F

Seedless American variety

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

1986. University of Arkansas. This blue seedless variety has the largest berries of any American seedless grape in my collection. The vigor of the vine is good, but its behavior changes over time. On young vines, the bunches are loose and fibrous, resulting in a low harvest weight. After a few years, as the vine matures, the grapes are fuller and the vine produces more overall crop weight. The flavor of the fruit is Labrusca, like the parent Island Belle, with slightly soft flesh. The fruit is really at its best the day after harvest, when the acids have dropped a bit. Better disease resistance than most seedless grapes, though still needs as much disease control as Concord. . One of the last to sprout in spring, which helps to avoid late frosts. The straight cut works for me. Ripens about three to four weeks before Concord.

American seedless blue table early/big cluster seedless, -20º F

Seedless American variety

Monastery Mascat (Alden x New York 65,483.2)

Seedless white muscatel for table and wine use. He was bred by Bro. Kenneth Caudill, brother of the Brigittine Convent of Our Lady of Consolation, Order of the Most Holy Redeemer in Amity, Oregon. Information on tension performance is limited. Based on his ancestry, I wouldn't expect him to be hardier than Alden, around -10 to -15 F. Disease resistance outside of the Northwest has also not been tested. Brother Caudill makes an excellent muscatel sweet white wine with it and the brothers love fruit. Supplies are limited and all proceeds go to the monastery.

American Seedless White Table/Wine Early Season Mid -10º F

Seedless American variety

Neptune (PVP) (complex kinship)

1998, University of Arkansas. This strain was bred to be crack resistant, and the seedless, white, firm, tough-skinned berries are highly crack resistant. When fully grown, the well-filled clusters look almost pearly and are some of the most beautiful white grapes I have ever seen. The flavor is neutral, similar to Vinifera, enough that Neptune can pass for it in grocery stores. Hardy to around -10oF. The canes are of large diameter and the vines have an open habit. good power. Performs acceptably when training with laces and held in with spurs. Ripens about two weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, white, table top, early mid-season, hardy/crack resistant, -10º F

Seedless American variety

Reliance (RRP, expired 2001) (Ontario x Suffolk Red).

Raised at the University of Arkansas. Regular, heavy harvests of this seedless red variety might make "Reliable" a better name. In Arkansas and the East, Reliance has a unique fruity flavor. In the West, the taste is usually less noticeable, but it is still sweet and pleasant. The animals definitely like it because they trust Reliance in my vineyard. Reliance matures three to four weeks before Concord and is early enough to mature well in a variety of climates and has proven hardy down to at least -25oF. The color varies from red to a rather light pink, depending on the climate, and it can be edible even if it shows almost no color. It cracks when the weather is rainy during the ripening period. Reliance has one of the best vines, and it is easy to train lacing with spurs.

Seedless American Red Table early season very reliable -25º F

Seedless American variety

Seedless remaily. From private breeder George Remaily

Published by the Cornell Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. Remaily Seedless is a firm white grape that tastes as neutral (also known as "vinous") as a pure Vinifera grape. Berry set is sometimes affected by cold, wet weather at the time of flowering, but this is not a serious problem. It usually has one cluster per shoot, sometimes two, although the cluster size is large, helping to improve the overall weight of the crop. Its flavor is best when the weather is warm enough during ripening to help the strain develop enough sugars. Train Remaily with a good canopy to protect the fruit from sunburn, which can turn the berries brown. Training the vines in spurred cordons makes it easier to shield the fruit from the sun, but the strain has higher production when trained on canes. Remaily keeps well in cold storage. Hardy to around -15oF. Ripens about two weeks earlier than Concord or earlier in the hotter seasons.

American, seedless, white, table, mid season, firm flesh texture, -15º F

Seedless American variety

Rombough sin semillas (Esprit x Interlaken).

Bred in Aurora, Oregon by Lon J. Rombough. A white grape, the clusters are as large or slightly larger than Interlaken grapes, but more compact and with smaller berries, about the same size as Canadice berries. The trademark of the strain is the taste. Under some conditions, the taste is similar to Interlaken, but often the berries have an unusual spiciness reminiscent of wintergreen. The spicy flavor seems to develop more strongly in the cold seasons. The vine is very vigorous, with moderate production. Not widespread as of 2007, so the full range of adaptability and resistance is still unknown. Given the lineage, the vines should be at least as hardy as Interlaken, down to -15 F if not more. Ripens about four weeks before Concord. The best method of pruning is still under investigation, although cane pruning can improve productivity and take advantage of high vigor. In the strangely cool spring combined with the late summer of 2011, the Rombough Seedless grape did a strange thing. I used to have seed remains that were large but soft and easy to eat with the berries. This year the leftovers turned into full, hard seeds. Something like this has happened to Venus in some places, but that was the first time I saw it in Rombough. I don't know whether or not seeded Rombough fruit occurs in other climates, so please let me know if your seedless Rombough produces normal seeds.

American, seedless, white, plate, early, unusually hot flavor, -15º F

Vinifera kernlose variety

Rubin Kernlos

Ruby Seedless often goes by the name "King's Ruby" due to an overly ambitious advertiser. They are red berries, well colored and large for a seedless grape. The clusters are also large and loose. Ruby matures about two weeks after Concord or earlier in sheltered locations where it can get more heat.

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

Seedless American variety

Saturn (PVP). (Complex parenting).

Raised at the University of Arkansas. The dark red, firm, fleshy, egg-shaped berries of Saturn are very similar in flavor and character to Vinifera. And while the groups can be quite large, their size can vary in different climates. In cold seasons, there can be quite a large number of small berries in the bunch, and the bunch itself can be smaller. Best in hot growing season. Prune Saturno to canes to obtain the best production from the vine. In fertile soils, you can grow canes that are among the strongest of any American grape variety. Ripens about two weeks before Concord.

American, Seedless, Red, Board, Mid Season, Unusually Hot Flavor, -10º F

Seedless American variety

Suffolk-Rot (Fredonia x Black Monukka)

From the Cornell University Experiment Station in Geneva, New York. A red, seedless aroma with firm, not wily berries. Overall quality is good, but the bunches are stringy, which is a problem with aguardiente berries for many years due to the low total weight of the crop. The vine has a good upright habit that facilitates the formation of spurred cordons, but the production is too low. Ripens three weeks to a month earlier than Concord, but is only hardy to about -10ºF. Reliance is a descendant of Suffolk Red and superior in every way.

American, seedless, red, tabletop, early mid-season, -10º F

Seedless American variety

Spartan Seedless (Seibel 13047 x Perlette).

Raised by the late private vintner Cecil Farris near Lansing, Michigan. This seedless white variety has large, compact clusters of firm, Vinifera-quality berries on a stout vine. Three tufts per shoot are common. The berries are small, like those of canadice. Mr. Farris claimed that the vines were perfectly strong and disease resistant to him, but the cultivar hasn't been around long enough to have many reports to support this. Ripens with Himrod or a few days later. Hardiness unknown but should be good to at least -10 to -15 F depending on origin. Prune back to two cordoned bud spurs. A W T E

American White Seedless Table Grape, Early High Yield Grape from Michigan, -15º F

Seedless American variety

Vanessa (Seneca x New York 45910).

Raised in Vineland, Ontario, Canada. The firm, fruity berries of this red seedless variety are easily compared to Flame Seedless, though they are certainly not identical. Vanessa's red color is more uniform, but more brick red than Flame's lighter red. Vanessa has large, open vines that are very vigorous, with very long internodes when young. As a result, young vines and vines on fertile sugarcane soils must be trained to have extra shoots left to produce enough crop to reduce vine vigour. On less fertile soils and with more mature vines, the growth rate stabilizes and the vines can be cordoned (spurred) for easier management. In dry climates the skin can sometimes be astringent, but a good rain after the fruit ripens and the astringency wears off. This is probably related to its place of origin: Vineland selections are bred to withstand rain at maturity. The fruit can be stored well. The vines are hardy to around -15 to -20 F. Vanessa matures early enough that it will do well in a cool or short growing season. Ripens about four to five weeks before Concord.

Seedless American Red Tabular Early Firm Berries Hardy Rain, -20º F

Seedless American variety

VeePie parentage unknown.

Raised in Vineland, Ontario, Canada. This blue-black grape is unusual in that its high acidity makes it too sour to eat fresh. Instead, it is specifically recommended for use in grape cakes. DC Northeastern Paschke, Pennsylvania. He worked and tasted every available grape in his 80-year career (he lived to be 101 1/2) and this was his favorite for making grape cakes. He was so taken with it that Vineland decided to name it and publish it. VeePie has long, well-filled clusters on a vigorous, productive vine. Hardiness unknown, although it has survived -15 F without damage. The jury is still out on the best pruning method, but pruning them with sticks is a good place to start. After the vines are mature, try pruning them back to encourage cordons. Because it is used while sour, it can be picked as soon as it begins to color. If left hanging until the end of the season, the acidity sinks to where it can be eaten fresh. Ripens about three weeks before Concord.

American, Seedless, Blue, Pastel, Early Mid-Season, Sour Grape, Pie Special, -15º F

Seedless American variety

Venus (Alden x New York 46000)

From the University of Arkansas. Venus is a black seedless grape with unusually large berries for a seedless grape. Its flavor is a combination of nutmeg and labrusca. In some years the seeds may reach their full size, but they are usually soft and can be eaten with the grape. There will rarely be any hard seeds. It can be astringent to the skin in cold weather, but the taste is so good that most people overlook it. A producer with experience in winemaking found that Venus had enough tannin that it could be useful when mixed with wine. Venus can be spur-pruned, but production and bunch size are slightly larger with stick training. Ripens about four weeks before Concord.

American, seedless, blue, stick/juice, early mid-season, red/orange fall foliage, -15º F

Farmington grape library (2)

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