Your favorite table grapes in southern CA

wliu57August 31, 2008

Hi, all,

Recently I planed to plant two table grapes at my patio facing south. Then I did some homework, visit nurseries, HD, and internet search, and read Sunset Western Garden. I found two which I want to go for: Reliance seedless grape and Keoho grape.

Relaince seedless: None of the nurseries I went carries it, neither home depot. Is that means that Reliance won't do well at zone 10? Some (internet search) said it is suitable at zone 5-9, other said zone 5-10. And reliance do listed on the grape table of Sunset Western Garden Book. I guess it should do well at Southern CA.

Yes, mail order. Lot of the nurseries I checked do not shipped to CA any more (some said "due to state Quarantine Regulation).

By the way, reliance has two colors, one is pink, the other red. Which is better taste for you?

Can you kindly share your experience with Reliance at Los Angeles and Orange County with me And where can I get it?

Kyoho grape: Found both vine and fruit at a Chinese market.

The fruit taste is great except think peel and seeds. I did read a post in the internet, there are seeded and seedless Kyoho grapes.

Where can I get seedless Kyoho grape?

Also could you please list your favorite table grape in southern CA?

Any suggestions from other states regarding these issues are very much welcome.

Thanks a lot in advance!


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Good old Thompson Seedless has been trouble-free, heat-resistant, and insanely productive for us. Very sweet and much, much better than the ones you find in the store.


    Bookmark   August 31, 2008 at 11:30PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


I have tried many of the California and Eastern seedless table grapes. The CA types are much better than the Eastern like Reliance.

My favorite seedless table grape is Summer Royal. It has large blue/black berries and the best flavor IMO. Ripens in August.

Second is Princess. This is a yellow seedless that ripens with Thompson (Aug/Sept) but has much larger berries and better flavor IMO.

Slightly later is Autumn Royal. Haven't fruited this yet but worth a try. Supposed to have the largest berries of any seedless.

If you want a really late seedless get Crimson Seedless. In my greenhouse the fruit is at peak quality from Oct to Jan.

The earliest seedless I like is Flame the common red grape seen in the stores. It is very crisp. Berries are bigger than Thompson but smaller than all others listed.

These are all much better than Reliance or any of the other Eastern seedless with the possible exception of Jupiter. It is the best Eastern seedless and worth a try.

Flame, Summer Royal, Princess, Autumn Royal, and Crimson were all bred by David Ramming USDA grape breeder at Fresno. I got my starts of these plants by requesting cuttings in the fall from Ramming. Don't know if that is still possible.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 10:04AM
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Thanks-The Fruitnut

What is IMO stands for?


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 2:00PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


IMO = in my opinion
IMHO = in my humble opinion

Guess I could have been a little humble :)

:) = smiley face = my attempt at humor

Have a good day!!

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 3:35PM
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Thanks-The Fruitnut

I learned them from you!


    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 4:41PM
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I have two Kyoho grape vines, and they produce well in hot SoCal, with a large size, for unsprayed home grown, but the flavor here is on the level of a supermarket grape. This will probably be their last year. They arenÂt as sweet or as flavorful as my neighbors delicious Concord grapes, after spitting the seeds and skins. My Concord Seedless are almost tasteless, not usually seedless, with skins that werenÂt bad enough to spit out, but have sort of an off taste.
Seeded Alexander Muscat is ripening now for the first time, and is getting better every day. ItÂs too early to say if itÂs "the standard of high flavor" as described by David Karp, "Fruit Detective". Diamond Muscat is similar in taste, perhaps even better, is seedless with good skins and texture, ripens around a month earlier and is my familyÂs favorite so far. The few Jupiter fruit produced this year were excellent, with Reliance (red) almost as good. My son preferred the mild taste of Crimson Seedless, but it tasted too much like a supermarket grape for me.

I grew ThompsonÂs Seedless, Flame, and Black Monukka around twenty years ago. It wasnÂt hot enough here to sweeten ThompsonÂs, but Flame and Black Monukka were just okay, not as good as supermarket grapes, and only half the size. My son liked them.
All my grapes except Kyoho are around half the size of those in the supermarket. From my readings, their size could be increased with heavy pruning and spraying with gibberelic acid, but that seems like too much work.

Lon Rombough, an Oregon grower, who wrote "The Grape Grower", sells cuttings. IÂve bought some from him and rooted them, but they wonÂt produce until next year. Ray Ethel, who has a link off of RomboughÂs website, sells certified grafted grape vines, ships to California, has many of the newer varieties, like Diamond Muscat. All are growing well here. The vines I bought from Cloud Mountain Farm all did well for me also, fruited their second year here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grape cuttings from Lon Rombough

    Bookmark   September 1, 2008 at 8:59PM
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I've grown Flame, Black Monukka, Thompson, Kyoho, Jupiter, Concord, and Reliance. Jupiter has hands down been the best- excellent flavor, good size, very productive, vigorous. Kyoho is a decent variety, but Steuben is far superior as seeded grapes go, but hard to get in CA. Jupiter can be had at

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 3:55PM
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Thank you all: very helpful info.

Got a Kyoho in 5 G and will plant it next spring.

Tried to find the sources for Summer Royal and couldn't find it in CA. The nurseries in other states don't ship it to CA.

I do find Summer Royal on Ebay. However, I have no any experience buying plant from ebay. Do you?


    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:22PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

I've never bought plants from ebay. The picture and description does sound like Summer Royal although I won't call the flavor neutral. It probably is the correct variety. But I'm pretty sure he won't be able to ship to CA legally.

I would suggest you look elsewhere. There are very good reasons CA restricts certain nursery stock. One bad vine could endanger millions in commercial production. You should be able to find Jupiter or Princess locally.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 9:49PM
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Thanks-The Fruitnut.

Now I know why they all don't ship to CA.

I found the cultivars locally are followings:
Flame, Ruby, Concord, and Thompson.

I can't find Summer Royal, Jupiter, and princess yet. I may need more homework.

Thank you all again.


    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:49AM
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My two Summer Royals came from Ray Ethyll. He is in Oregon, but grows custom grafted certified grape plants, ships to California. Ray Ethyll also sold me my two Diamond Muscats, which are like Thompsons, only much better tasting, at least to me. You have to email him and ask him what varieties he has available. My two Jupiters came from Cloud Mountain Farm, as I mentioned above, and they had no problem shipping to CA. They also carry Reliance, and other Eastern type grape vines.
Growing Certified grape plants that can be shipped to CA is a little of a nuisance. They have to be grown in containers not touching the ground, have to be inspected by someone who knows the difference between a healthy plant and a sick plant before they can be shipped to CA. Some nurseries have no problem with this, donÂt charge extra. However, one Florida nursery charges a $60 compliance fee as well as $55 for the inspection (Phytosanitary Certificate), and double charge shipping fees.
IÂve bought two grape vines from EBay. One was shipped dead, never broke dormancy, and the grower refused to replace it, unlike other nurseries. The other vine is on its third year, has never bloomed or born fruit, may be a seedling that may or may not resemble the parent plant. I donÂt plan on ordering any more grape vines from EBay.

Here is a link that might be useful: Custom Grafted Grape Vines

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 3:48PM
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I will try it for the Summer Royal.

I won't buy any grapes from Ebay after hearing from your sad story.

Hi, fruithack: you said that "Kyoho is a decent variety". Is that means that its vine and forages are beautiful?

BTW, you mentioned several times in you last post that the taste of a grape is at "a supermarket grape level". From my understanding, you (we) expect the taste should be much better than that. Is that true?


    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 8:36PM
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Most supermarket fruits to me are average tasting at best, often much worse. Once you get used to fresh fruit picked at its sun warmed peak from your own yard, the supermarket fruit, picked green, stored for ages, just doesnÂt taste right. I grew up on scuppernong and muscadine grapes from my grandfatherÂs orchard, Concord grape juice, and perhaps am biased toward those flavors in grapes. My son, on the other hand, growing up on Flame and Black Monukka grapes in our yard, prefers those milder flavors in grapes.
Neither of us like the Kyoho grapes. I have them in an area where they just get sunshine from noon into the afternoon, so that might affect their flavor. Or I may be watering them too much. Things dry out so fast in the summer heat.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 1:33PM
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Have you ever heard of Vintage Nurseries( They are a Calif. Certified Grapevine Nursery. Contact my friend Mike Enns, he is the tablegrape salesman. They have a minimum order of 25 vines of each variety, just group all your friends together and buy the minimum order. They ship anywhere that UPS delivers.
Whenever you want to find anything, Google it! You will find it. Take care, Steve Huffman

    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 3:38AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

On this topic, the most recent CRFG newsletter reports on a grape tasting of around 40 people in N. CA. The top rated in order were Red Flame, Fantasy, Reliance, Suffolk Red, Interlaken, Himrod, Venus. The tasting did not include Jupiter.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2009 at 12:53PM
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What great information! Any updates?

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 11:26AM
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