Grapes: Organic Production
GrapeSpeciesCommon NamesCultivarsand HybridsNative toClimatic/pestconsiderationsAdditionalInformation
European Grape,Vinifera grapeManyAsia Minor
Widely planted in westernUS, but on hybrid root-stocks, as
root-stocks are susceptible tophylloxera. Generally notas cold hardy as native V.
grapes, so lesswidely planted in theNortheast. Vinifera grapescan be generally charac-terized as requiring a longgrowing season, relativelyhigh summer temperatures,low humidity, a ripeningseason free of rainfall, andmild winter temperatures.
(Please note that someauthorities place thisspecies in a separategenus, Muscadinia.)
Vitis cordi-folia, Vitis hyemalis,Vitis incisa
Vitis mustangensis,Vitis peltata
Vitis rotun-difolia Flowers, Vitisrotundifolia Scup- pernong, Vitis taurina
(Linnaeus).Arkansas Grape, Big WhiteGrape, Black Grape, BullGrape, Bullace Grape, Bul-let Grape, Bullit Grape, BushGrape, Bushy Grape, CurrantGrape, Flowers Grape, GreenMuscadine, Hickman’s Grape,Muscadine Grape, Musca-dinia Rotundifolia, MustangGrape, Roanoke Grape, Scup-pernong Grape, SouthernFox Grape, Warty Grape,White Grape, White Musca-dine, White Musky Grape,and Yellow MuscadineBlack Beauty, Black Fry, Bountiful, Car-los, Chief, Cowart,Darlene, Dear-ing, Delight, Dixie,Doreen, FloridaFry, Fry, Higgins,Hunt, Ison, Jane-bell, Janet, Jumbo,Loomis, Magno-lia, Nesbitt, Noble,Pineapple, Regale,Scuppernong,Sterling, Summit,Supreme, SweetJenny, Tara, Tar-heel, and TriumphSouthern Delawareto southern Illinois,south by southwestto northeastern Texas, south to theGulf, and east to theAtlantic.Adapted to humid south-east. Lacks frost hardi-ness and can be injured byminimum winter temps of 0 degrees F. Should avoidgrowing in areas that oftenhave 10 degree F temps. Itis most abundant on sandy,well-drained bottom landsand along river banks andin swamps, thick woodlandsand thickets. They toleratehot summers but do notwithstand drought and donot adapt well to semi-aridconditions. Satisfactorygrowth in warmer grapegrowing areas of Washing-ton, California and Oregon.Nearly immune to phyllox-era, Pierce’s diseaseand nematodes.Because of its resistance tomany pests,
would be the ideal rootstock candidate for Vinifera graftswere it not for the fact that itwill rarely accept a graft fromany but its own species. Someauthorities consider that thisspecies (along with the related
) should bein a diﬀerent genus, due toa number of morphologicaldiﬀerences (not to mentionthat
has a diﬀer-ent number of chromosomes(n=20) than other Vitas spe-cies (n=19). California RareFruit Growers website providesmuch information about plant-ing and care of this species, aswell as a listing of the variouscultivars and their characteris-tics:
Also, Jack Keller’s website has a wealthof information on this species:
Vitis canina, Vitiscatawba
Vitis ferruginga, Vitislabrusca alexandrer,Vitis labrusca cham- pion, Vitis labruscavar. subeden tata
Vitis labruscavar. typica
Vitis latifolia, Vitisluteola, Vitis sylves-tris virginiana
Vitis vinifera sylvestrisamericana
(Marshall)Alexander Grape, Alexan-dria Grape, BeaconsﬁeldGrape, Black Cape Grape,Black Champion, Black FoxGrape, Black Grape, Buck Grape, Cape Grape, Cham-pignon Grape, Clifton’s Con-stantia Grape, Clifton’s Lom-bardia Grape, ColumbianGrape, Constantia Grape,Early Champion Grape,Farker’s Grape, Fox Grape,Frost Grape, Madeira of York Grape, Northern MuscadineGrape, Plum Grape, Rothrock Grape, Rothrock of PrinceGrape, Schuykill Muscadel,Schuykill Muscadine, Skunk Grape, Springmill ConstantiaGrape, Swamp Grape, Tal-mam’s Seedling Grape, Task-er’s Grape, Tolman, VevayGrape, Winne Grape, andYork Lisbon GrapeAlexander,Catawba, Cham-pion, Concord(80% of
production), Dela-ware, Niagara,Lakemont, Reli-ance, and HimrodNortheast andeast of US.Nearly immune to phyllox-era.
has longbeen used as rootstock for
grafts andfor development of hardyhybrids. Tougher skin than Europeangrapes. Deep purple in color.Major use is for sweet grape juice (Welch’s) and associatedproducts–jelly, jam, preserves,some wine.
Table 1. Wine Grape Species
Grapes grow all over North America, except in the most extreme desert and tun-dra. North America is home to more than half of the world’s 50 or so species of grapes. Various authorities recognize between 19 and 29 species of native NorthAmerican grape. Table 1 lists the four American grape species used in wine pro-duction:
V. rotundifolia, V. labrusca, V. aestivalis
. Please note, how-ever, that except for
these “species”readily hybridize, resulting in a situation where one specie’s traits and rangeoverlap with another (or several others!). Some areas may have two or morespecies co-existing and with the various permutations of hybrid oﬀspring pos-sible, identiﬁcation becomes diﬃ cult. This is why there are so many names listedunder “Grape Species”—some authorities described “new” grape species thathad already been described by others under a diﬀerent name.
(Table adapted from:Winemaking Homepage, Jack Keller, 2005.