Summer Royal grape: sensational quality, virus, raisins
Just took out the Summer Royal grape in my greenhouse. It was infected with leaf roll virus. As a result the fruit wasn't as good as other years. But this virus is kinda strange in that some berries are fine while others are tart. You can tell by looking at the berry. Good ones are dark and firm. Bad are light color and soft. The vine has been infected for years but this is the first real damage.
I dried the best fruit and ended up with 12 lbs of the best raisins money can't buy. When right this is the best grape/raisin I've ever eaten.
I'm getting new plants this winter. Will try Summer Royal, Princess, Autumn Royal, Crimson, and Muscat of Alexandria. All seedless except the later. Getting them from a local nursery thru L E Cooke. Will hope that the new ones are virus free. Leaf roll virus is widespread and severely damaging in WA, CA, and I'm sure many other places.
Am going to try them in pots. Vigor of in-ground vines has been excessive.
Summer Royal is becoming more widely available. Give it a try if you can. They say hardy to zone 7. A friends plants took 10F many times this winter here.