Hybrid grape (viniferaxlabrusca) with firm texture?

persianmd2orchardJune 25, 2013

I remember eating a Canadice grape I think it was and being surprised at how labrusca-y the texturey was. That soft, bouncy when you press them, balloony, not quite as gelatinous as a Concord-but close.

Do any of the other grapes that can do well in the east coast have a firmer/crisper texture?

Swenson Red I've read is firm, Jupiter I dont know, and Reliance, Himrod, Interlaken... I'm thinking are soft and bouncy?

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I do remember himrod being a lebrusca cross, but I dont remember if it was with vinefera. I think the same with vanessa as well. You might want to look up niagra, but i have heard that has some thick skin...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 8:19AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Hmm I thought I posted a reply to this, maybe I forgot to hit the submit button.

Swenson Red is very firm. The others you mention are softer. The new Gratitude grape from the U Ark. program is also supposed to be firm. I am growing it for that reason, my family likes firm grapes. Those are the only two crosses I know of that are not soft. Even most vinifera are not crisp, most of the grocery store crisp grapes are relatively new vinifera varieties.


    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 7:28PM
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Thanks for the replies guys. Maybe it's not the softness of the hybrids that turns me off a bit--maybe it's the gelatinous slightly concordy-ness inside? Maybe it's the interior texture. All I can think of to describe it from eating a couple Canadice last season was that it was "bouncy" ?. I'm not really sure now. I think I've had soft vinifera grapes that were quite nice. I guess we will see.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:10AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Thats right, most of the hybrids have that concord "bouncy" or whatever you want to call it texture. I agree it is a detraction, you feel like the grape is trying to get away from your teeth and its more chewy. None of the vinifera have that texture, and all muscadines do to some degree. Some hybrids have much less of it, I don't remember much in Golden Muscat for example. Perhaps Interlaken also, although I pulled that variety years ago so I may be mixing it up with another variety. Jupiter has some of it, NY Muscat is really bad (its for wine/cooking only) as are most or all of the older hybrids.


    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 9:15AM
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This thread made me revisit the new Arkansas releases. It sounds like Gratitude has potential. I'll add it in next season probably to replace Villard Blanc.

I initially avoided growing any pure vinifera to try to stay organic at least the first couple seasons and see if my taste buds demanded that I foray into the disease prone pure viniferas... I think if I can get delicious organic hybrid grapes with 3 or less copper sprays then I'm satisfied.

Otherwise we will see... if one starts using Immunox though, wouldn't that open up potential for a lot of nice vinifera varieties??? not sure if cracking or other nonfungal issues would be a major problem... but there's a lot of pure viniferas that would be so fun to grow... the muscats, sultanas, flame, crimson...

is it only a matter of busting out some immunox to open up the vinifera channels? hardyness should be ok.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 11:22PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Even when I used Immunox my vinifera were looking ratty by seasons end. The heat and humidity wear them down, whereas the hybrids take it much better. The yield I get is low and it takes a lot longer to establish the vines. Maybe I would be more positive on vinifera if I had not spent 5 years growing them 100% organic and suffering through lots of disease problems. Everything is worse on them, the flea beetles, the grape moths, the Jap. beetles, the rotting, etc etc. I never had any cracking though.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 9:06PM
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I see well in that case, I'll go back to the mentality of avoiding viniferas for now.

Don't vineyards grow vinifera wine grapes throughout Virginia and just seriously spray from the start though?

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 8:45AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Those vineyards are spraying a ton. If you want to spray synthetics every other week you can avoid most problems. I did the every other week spraying when I had a lot of vinifera (I had to because I was doing organic only), and that got old REAL fast! They still lose a lot of grapevines every year in spite of all their spraying.

More generally, my view is there are many great kinds of fruit which you don't have to fight to grow, so pick those. I spent five years thinking I could bash down any wall and grow anything, but it was just me that got bashed in the end. For grapes I am now most excited about muscadines, my kids seem to really like them and they are no work at all.


    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Thanks for all the info on this thread. I'm not interested in spraying things to death so I guess avoiding vinifera is a good idea as initially planned. I agree there are a ton of awesome tasting fruit you can grow easier anyway. Some are completely new to my palette like the paw paw and I really enjoy them. But one of the only fruit new to me that I haven't been able to appreciate its flavor is the muscadine--I really haven't like it at all the two times I've had it so far--but it must have been suboptimal fruit in terms of ripeness. What muscadine varieties are you enjoying? I heard there are sweets and sours... I think I must have had an unripe sour!!! I might be able to do with the skin and the pits if the flesh was nice--but mine was all bad inside and out. Do you spit the skin?

PS You wouldn't even recommend those two vinifera Muscats you like? Even those are big spraying headaches and you don't get much fruit?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2013 at 8:27AM
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