seed Concord grapes vs. seedless... same flavor??

vieja_gw(z7NM)September 2, 2008

I have a 40+ yr. old Concord seed grape vines that produce every year the best real 'grape' flavored fruit! I eat the grapes seed & all but most people spit the seeds out (!) so I was wondering about planting a Concord seedless vine now also. Do those grapes still have the wonderful 'grape' flavor ... or is something lost in the seedless variety?

The white grapes I also have can't compare to flavor!

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I have found that the original Concord, the Improved Concord, and the Concord Seedless have pretty much the same flavor. The original Concord is a light bearer of fairly small bunches of grapes and is sometimes biennial. The Improved Concord bears a decent amount of large bunches every year. The Concord Seedless bears a large amount of large bunches every year. Although they taste pretty much the same, they do not ripen at the same time.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:11AM
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Also, if I remember correctly, the Improved Concord is also called Worden, or something like that. The Improved Concord is what is usually sold in nurseries as Concord.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:17AM
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Thanks, maingardner! Since my old Concord vines are 40+ yrs. old I'd guess they are not the improved variety. These old vines produce every year large grapes in small clusters but have the best flavor! I will order a Concord seedless next Spring & try it.

I love the store-bought Red Flame grapes also ... nice & crunchy & juicy; wonder if they would do well here in zone 7?

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 10:39AM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


If your Concord produce every yr, you should be able to grow Flame in Z7 NM. I'm in Z7 Alpine TX at 4500ft elev. Our problems with grapes are spring frost and too much rain sometimes during the rainy season. We have had about 7 inches in the last two weeks. This after 9 months this winter with one inch total.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   September 3, 2008 at 12:20PM
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Vieja- my own experience has led me to steer clear of v. vinifera (European) grapes like flame, crimson, monukkah, thompson etc. as their disease resistance is generally low compared to v. labrusca (American) grapes like concord etc. Labrusca is just a much better bet in most instances. My personal preference among labrusca varieties in order is: Jupiter, Glenora, Steuben, Venus, Suffolk, Canadice, Kyoho, Reliance, Catawba, Concord seedless, Concord. I consider Steuben to be a "perfected" Concord: seeded, large crops of beutifully clusters, light Concord flavor, disease resistant, vigorous vines.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 2:33PM
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fruithack: We have had no problem with any of the disease in the different varieties of grapes we have grown so hopefully a Red Flame would do OK. Relatives in Roswell, NM @ 3000 ft. but zone 6; had their first crop this 2nd year after planting & was great they said. I know I just love those 'crunchy'!! Red Flames I buy in the grocery so was wondering about growing it here.

Many vineyards around this area but they are of the wine varieties ...

You mentoned the Steuben to have a 'light' Concord flavor ... I wonder if I'd miss the heavenly flavor of these old seeded Concords we have now? The birds seem to leave these blue grapes alone but the Thompson & Lakemont seedless are always taken by the birds before we can get to them!

fruitnut: Yes we are at 5200 ft. right at our area of Albuquerque. Rarely have too much moisture here but hearing from relatives near Austin this summer, I understand what you wrote! They had 90 days of over 105 weather & NO rain at all I guess; they then usually get 90 days of nothing BUT rain!!

Thanks everyone for all of your help & info. I just might give the Red Flame & seedless Concord a try anyway ... but realize I have all of your input!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2008 at 10:17PM
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You can have my seedless Concord, if you like. Some years it has almost as many seeds as the regular Concord, and the flavor is so mild as to be almost tasteless. The skins have an off taste, even when they're spit with the seeds. There are too many good grape vines around to bother with it, at least from my experience here where I live.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 2:11PM
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Vieja- I think Steuben has a more universally appealing flavor than Concord, not to mention double the production. Henry Fields sells Steuben.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 5:22PM
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altadenamara: On no... seeded seedless grapes?!! NOW I really can't decide :) ! And your's were really sold as Concord seedless & not a seed Concord sent by mistake? Of course you mentioned the flavor was not the same either... I know once in a while our other white seedless grapes might have a seed or so but not often at all.

Isn't it upsetting if one does buy what we really want only to find out later it was the wrong variety sent or the description was different?! Guess the different regions would have a lot to do with the varieties also.

Guess I'll wait now to see what else transpires on my posting before I buy or just be satisfied with my old seeded Concord!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 7:26PM
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dethride(7a / 6b GA)

Had very good luck with my Seedless Concord for the last two years. We're in a severe drought here and the grapes were full of flavor, and the yield was good.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2008 at 9:35PM
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My experience with concord seedless is identical to Altadenamara's- seeds, not the most appealing fruit. I was going to rip my 2 plants out, but they are my latest bearing grapes, which stretches out the season. I'm guessing that some grape breeding program somewhere came up with this sorry seedless grape that tasted like concord and they used the name "concord seedless" as a marketing ploy. I read somewhere that concord seedless does not have concord in it's genetic lineage.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2008 at 6:35PM
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Thanks, fruitback ..

I'm about to keep score: 2 against, 2 iffy, ....!ha Maybe I can find someone growing it locally that I can taste & form an opinion!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2008 at 10:48AM
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