Looking for Xylella-Resistant Table Grape Varieties

hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)December 20, 2010

Hoping folks can give me some recommendations on some table grape varieties that are either naturally resistant to Pierce's Disease, or have been bred to be resistant to Pierce's Disease (Xylella fastidiosa). Due to my proximity to an 80 acre abandoned orange orchard, most of my oleanders are exhibiting signs of Oleander Leaf Scorch. Plus, I appear to have 3 or 4 grape vines that are having great difficulties growing (when I first moved into our home last September, I didn't even realize they were there, they are stuggling so badly). They struggle in the summer to produce maybe 4 or 5 leaves, that end up turning brown and crispy, so I'm assuming I probably also have Pierce's Disease as well, sigh... I am in Vista, which is in N. San Diego County, about 7 miles from the ocean, and the grapes would be planted on a hillside, possibly up against my wrought iron fencing, getting just about full sun all day, and a southern exposure, so nice and warm. I know that some of the native California grapes as well as muscadines tend to be more resistant, but I sure love good tasting table grapes. And possibilities of finding something that is being bred to be resistant to X. fastidiosa? And, where I might purchase these? That would be just fabulous!!

Patty S.

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Most labrusca grapes (think concord) are resistant to Pierce's. As stated before, Jupiter (Raintree Nursery) is a top seedless grape with excellent disease resistance. Maybe you could dig up specific info on Jupiter's Pierce resistance on the University of Arkansas web site as the developed it. Other favorite labrusca table grapes of mine are Suffolk Red, Glenora, and Steuben.

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 2:53PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks, fruithack. Unfortunately, Jupiter is not resistent to Pierce's Disease, as are any of the Arkansas local grape varieties/hybrids. Here is a quote right from U of Arkansas' website about their local varieties, which includes Jupiter:

"...Although developed in the South, the Arkansas varieties are not resistant to the most devastating grape disease in the deep South - Pierce's disease. These varieties are not recommended where Pierce's disease is a threat."

Labruscas are not naturally resistent to Pierce's, but do have some better than normal resistence to fungal infections. Which is too bad, because I LOVE Stubens, yum. I think you might be thinking of the muscadines (native N. Carolina grapes)? They DO have a natural resistence to Pierce's, although not entirely immune, and I'm probably going to end up with a couple of muscadines (Late Fry and Darlene), since I can't find any California table grapes that are either resistent or immune.

U of Florida has done some extensive research, and I just happened upon a great article written about their PD-resistent grapes they are recommending to both commercial growers as well as hobbists:

So, I'm going to check into Blue Lake, Conquistador, Stover, Suwannee and Daytona as options as well. I understand muscadines can be an "acquired taste", and I have never had a chance to try them, so I might just toss the dice and put up the muscadines, too. :-)

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: HS17A/MG105: U of F The Bunch Grape

    Bookmark   January 19, 2011 at 7:54PM
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Patty- Try find an America grape, they're pretty tough plants. Seems like I've seen them available to ship to CA. I still say try a Jupiter and Steuben. Maybe your micro-climate in combo with them will work out. I've made a career out of ignoring the "experts" (if you only knew). About half the time I come out smelling like a rose, about half the time I get hammered. Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2011 at 1:19PM
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Your dilemna is understood. PD nearly wiped out Orfila winery. Check out Blanc du Bois as offered by Willis Orchards. The company is able to ship to CA, which is an important part in your quest.

Here is a link that might be useful: PD Resistant Grapes

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 6:28AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

In doing some pretty extensive research, I found that the Unversity of Texas in conjunction with the Texas AgriLife Extension Service have been working with Martha and Friench Tarkington, owners of Tarkington's Vineyard in Victoria, Texas. They have developed a new grape variety that has been tested in Texas as well as in Arkansas, working with the University of Arkansas. I think this testing has spanned about 20 years in total, looking back at this variety retrospectively at the Tarkington's vineyards where its been growing for that amount of time. It is officially called 'Victoria Red' and is an extremely large table grape that will be available to the public in 2011. The Texas Extension office is offering up a limited supply this spring to those who requested a small number of vines. I was able to get on the list, and I should be getting 2 vines in about 4 weeks or so. Here is a link about this really incredible table grape, which has defied PD in both Texas and in trials for U of Ark.

Patty S.

Here is a link that might be useful: Unversity of Texas PD Notes - Victoria Red Table Grape

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 10:56AM
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I too have been wanting to grow bunch grapes, wine or table, for a while. Got a white grape vine that has fruited in a container, but it will presumably succumb at some point. More recently, I was looking again, and found there are a number of varieties out there, mostly wine grapes, but they should be good for eating too. Most, if not all are seeded, but I'm giving some a try. There are a few places I found to get them, but Willis Orchards doesn't have the best reputation, and Macevicius Farms is sold out right now. However, Truevine Vinyards has 4 varieties, including the Blanc du Bois mentioned above, so I ordered 4 of each, and was very happy with what arrived. Truevine don't have online ordering, but on the strength of an email exchange, Chris sent the vines followed by an invoice, with payment to be made by check.

Here is a link that might be useful: Truevine Vinyards - Pierce's resistant bunch grapes

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 12:53AM
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Another link, with some useful information from Texas A&M.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing Pierce's resitant grapes

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 12:59AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Thanks, Joseph. Great information. University of Texas and Texas A&M have done some very intensive research on PD resistant grapes, especially table grapes and their info is really helpful for those of us in PD areas. If I could get the grapevines in my yard to grow more than just a few leaves, I could tell for sure what's ailing them. But since they turn brown and die before I can get a good look, odds are very high it's PD. So, Going with Victoria Red, which at this point, appears to be IMMUNE to PD, and would be my best choice. I could try Orlando Seedless if I can find some more room in my yard, since Victoria Red is seeded, so definitely going on the "list".

Patty S.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2011 at 10:15AM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

Patty- two years later- did you try the Orlando seedless grape and did it do well?
We want a disease resistant seedless table grape and are just beginning our quest. i hope you have some good news for us.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 3:20PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

min, I've got a Victoria Red going right now, no fruit yet, but hopefully next year. It looks great, slow to establish, but no signs at all of PD. I didn't plant an Orlando, as my other grapevines sprang back to life, so I'm going to see how they fare. If they start exhibiting any symptoms at all of PD, they'll be dug out, and I'll try Orlando.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 3:35PM
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Min3 South S.F. Bay CA

Thanks for the quick reply Patty! I hope you get a good crop if delicious grapes next year (if the birds don't get there first.)

    Bookmark   July 25, 2013 at 4:44PM
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frozenjoe(9 Arizona)

Hi guys,

I'm in Arizona, but have a similar climate to many of you in CA. I came across this thread after discovering that my Jupiter grapevine is dying because it has Pierce's disease. Jupiter is definitely not resistant to Pierce's.


    Bookmark   November 23, 2013 at 11:40AM
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My Crimson Seedless vine isn't PD infested at this time, and this doc gives me some some hope that it might be somewhat resistant. That said, this Summer I finger smashed a lot of sharpshooters feeding on the vine. Some days I smashed as many as 10 within an hour.

This is really a shame as CS has given me super sweet grapes that are still holding well as we speak. What a heart breaker it would be to lose this vine.

It seems odd/questionable that nurseries would even sell PD prone grape varieties in areas that are known to carry the disease.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 6:40PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

Well, there's always 'Victoria Red', if you can find it. I got my vines from Texas A&M. No grapes this year, but should have some next year. So far, so good. I haven't seen any sharpshooters on any of my vines so far, but they're here, and I'm up against this dying and unmanaged orange orchard where they like to over winter. So, I cannot imagine I don't have them.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2013 at 6:49PM
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Victoria Red has some beautiful clusters, but they may be too early for me. Plums, pluots and peaches are overflowing here in July. Do you know of any PD resistant grapes that are late Summer/Fall like Crimson Red?

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 10:36AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA(10b Sunset 23)

I sure don't, but I would post over on the Fruits & Orchards Forum and see if the folks over there can give you some suggestions.

Patty S.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2013 at 11:13AM
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The best place to buy grape vines that I have found is Double A Vinyard in Fredonia New York. Actually cheap prices, and some of the vines I got had 3 foot root systems. They have --WHATEVER-- variety you are looking for! I am ordering 50 muscadines this week. I have no connection to this company, just want you to have good plants if you are trying grapes. They say they grow 2 million vines a year, yet I was talking to the owner's wife last time I ordered.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 4:12AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

Also, the Walker PD resistant varieties should be shipping this Spring to nurseries. That means we should be able to get some PD resistant 97% vinifera in the Spring of 2016.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2014 at 2:56PM
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