Valiant Grape - how hardy?

glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)July 20, 2006

Hi everyone,

I hope everyone is enjoying this great summer.

This spring I purchased a one-gallon potted valiant grape. When I planted it, it was "multi-branched" with a few two-foot long "branches" growing every which way. I trimmed it to two main branches, and would you know the plant just kept growing and growing. The tallest branch is growing straight up the trellis and about 7 feet high.

Anyways, I am just curious as to the hardiness of this plant. Is it "leave on the trellis" hardy or is it "lay on the ground and cover with snow" hardy? Or is it really just my personal preference? From what I read I don't think I need to mulch with leaves, peat, etc?

I am guessing that at worst during a bad winter the vine might not produce grapes the following year due to winter kill of the fruiting wood.

Anyways, the vine keeps wanting to growing through the trellis, from one side to another, but I have been purposely training the vine to grow on one side (not weave itself throw the trellis) just in case I decide to take it down in the fall.

By the way, it's funny how things work. I originally bought this plant to place on an arbour/gate and didn't really care if it actually produces grapes. Then I decided I wanted grapes so I planted it in a sunnier location, south side of a fence and carport. The metal arbour/gate did get a new plant, a clematis.

Thanks for any advice,


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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

Ummmm I think they die back in the winter. My neighbour has had a Valiant on an arbour for years & years, and I think it dies to the ground but like you said they grow so fast it's back in full force every summer. I do recall him saying he gets grapes off it... I will ask him for specifics and let you know. I'm sure someone here can give you firsthand experience anyway.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:22PM
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BarKnCalgary(z3 AB.CA)

Hi Glen. My valiant grape stays on the trellis & has come through 2 winters quite well. There is some winter kill of the thinnest branches. I mulch the base with ~18" of loose leaves in a wire cage in the fall & remove them when the grape buds out. It has quite a few bunches of grapes this year. Mind you, the last 2 winters have been rather milder than average, with very little Chinook influence. Good luck!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:38PM
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daylady(3b mb ca)

My brother planted Valiant and Ripiera grapes around an arbour he built- 20 years ago near Vivian. never mulched. No plants have died and now we are making wine from the grapes- if we get them before the birds that is. If you want some Ripera grape plants let me know.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 1:55PM
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I've had my Valiant for about 5 years now. I just leave it on the pergola - no special mulching. We always get adequate snow cover. PLENTY of grapes.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 9:52AM
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northspruce(z3a MB CDA)

OK the neighbour said his grapes are something that starts with N - so I'm wrong. And they don't die back either. Sorry bout that!

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 11:53AM
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Ordered some Valiant vines for spring planting. May be overkill, maybe not, just don't want to spend years finding plants that can handle this area (I'm 48). Also ordering Prairie Spy apples & lingonberries!
Any other "high plains" (7400ft+wind+cold) gardeners here?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 7:12PM
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mamabear2(z4/5Bk HillsSD)

I have a Valiant vine I planted over the arbor over the deck. I'd bet we get at least 100 lbs of grapes each year. It requires no care, occasional watering of course but we basically ignore it and enjoy the shade it provides over our deck. The grapes are so sweet we eat them right off of the vine. I've made jam that is really a hit with the family. But we have sold most of them at a local farmers market. My husband wants to plant more.

Wy0mn where did you order yours from? I bought mine from a local greenhouse about 5 years ago. I think I can get more in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2008 at 9:58AM
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Hi'ya mamabear2,
I ordered them from Raintree. I also intend to order one of their hardiest crabapples as a universal pollinator for some other apples.

Here is a link that might be useful: Raintree

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 9:43PM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

I was told many years ago that to ensure vine survival, you should lay them on the ground after they go dormant in the fall and cover with a layer of mulch like flakes of straw or hay, then remove it the following spring once you get past your last hard frost. It isn't the cold winters that necessarily get the vines, it is the last hard frost that comes after the buds start to swell a bit too early in the spring. Laying them down & covering slows their emergence from dormancy.

Never had a Valiant, which is supposed to be one of the hardier grapes, but had a Swenson Red which I trellised. Lost it after a couple years of the late spring frosts killing all the buds after they swelled. At the same time, I know others in this area that just trellis and forget and seem to have no problem--though the next hard winter or late spring frost could change that.

This advice varies, though, as in wetter climates I could see rot being a potential problem if you lay them down, and rodent access is easier on the ground.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2008 at 2:31AM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

Since this posting has been brought back, I thought I would write about my experience with my Valiant grape. After two winters it appears to be "leave on the trellis" hardy, here in zone 3. Technically we are zone 2b, though, truth be told, the vine is growing up a trellis on the side of a carport, in a sheltered city yard, so likely benefits from a microclimate.

This year the vine was loaded with grapes, in fact there were some I didn't pick. I gave the plant a good trimming in spring, but see that I have to do so once more. They are aggressive growing, but take well to trimming. I guess the only downside to the vine for me is trying to contain it and direct it's growth, but that's sort of the case with all my plants as I had a small yard. It does look nice as part of the vine grows under the carport roof and you have to walk under it to get to the car.

Anyways, last year I made grape jelly from the grapes, but this year I tried grape juice, just in the juicer and including some of the pulp. The juice was very sweet, had to dilute with water.

Apparently, and this goes for any type of grape, don't be too quick to pick once they are ripe, they gain sweetness as they sit on the vine longer.


    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 8:23PM
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I have two Valiant grapes at the end of the lane inside the garden growing up the fence posts in the wide open. They get no protection from any weather at all. They are a very very hardy vine. I also haven't taken the effort to do any pruning. The deer though, will prune the vines here and there, on the outside of the fence. They really really produce.

I waited until mid September to start picking. When I noticed that the birds were starting to go into the vines I picked them all. By that time they were already sweet. I find that grapes need a bit of frost before they turn sweet.

I sold some grapes at the farmer's market, although people weren't sure whether to buy the grapes or not, since it is not a common item that everyone grows and so, they were almost leary of them. I gave some grapes away to friends and then made one batch of grape jelly and one batch of jam for ourselves.

I also made lots and lots of grape juice. I don't have a juicer like you do, Glen. This is the recipe I found on the 'net that is excellent!... I took 1.5 cups of cleaned grapes and placed them into a quart jar, added 1/2 cup sugar and then filled the rest of the jar with water up to about 1" from the top. Then, I processed the jars for 15 minutes in a hot water bath. 3 days later you can drink it already if you wish, but it is better the longer you leave it. I made about 70 quarts this year, from our 2 grape vines. The juice is strong, but can be diluted. Everyone who tries it really likes it. It is very similar to Welch's grape juice. When opening the jar, the grapes can be eaten but Valiant grapes have a lot of seeds, so I usually eat some of the fruit, but mostly I just strain the shells and seeds out and drink the juice. It is best at fridge temperatures. At our Westman Gardeners Christmas party we are going to use the grape juice and add some 7-up or Gingerale to it for a punch. Should be good!

My DH wants grapes at every fence post all around the garden. He likes the looks of the vines on the posts. Let's see... Every 15 feet...hmmmm...30 or 40 posts. Wonder how much grape juice I would have to make to use all the grapes then. Anyone make wine?


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 3:42PM
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I live in Edmonton, Alberta. I planted my valiant outside couple months ago. I had it inside the house for year because my rough grade was not done on my yard.

I'm not using any protection on it based on so many recomendation that I've seen on the net.

I will repot back next spring with my findings.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 11:39PM
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I live in B.C. and my zone is on the edge: 2b-3. Valiants do very well here, so much so that I decided to start a small vineyard. I purchased 10 bare root vines last spring and nipped off all the blossoms so I'd get lots of foliage and root growth. They looked great by the end of the year. According to grape growers I should do pretty much the same in 2009, only letting each vine grow one cluster. It's going to be hard to hold myself back but apparently it will increase the yield in future years. I started 6 more vines from cuttings. They'll overwinter in the greenhouse and I'll plant them out next spring. Prior to starting my little vineyard I grew a couple of vines just to make sure they were hardy. They are. One year we got
-40 C with no snow cover and they survived with minimal winter kill.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2008 at 5:20PM
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glen3a(Winnipeg MB 3A)

I noticed in Dominion Seed House's catalogue they have a seedless (what they describe as) pink/orange grape titled "Somerset". Another site claims it's a white grape (which I guess the inside pulp would be). Dominion Seed House lists it as hardy to zone 3 and -35C, though other sites say zone 4. I guess -35C would be more in line with zone 4. Anyways, one site comments that it's the hardiest seedless table grape yet released for northern climates.

I am wondering if it would survive here. My initial thought might be it could survive, but only if taken down from the trellis and mulched, or else it might survive but suffer heavy winter damage where it won't fruit much. I guess it's difficult to say unless you actually try it, but it's good to see that the types of hardy grapes is expanding.


    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 10:16AM
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One of my customers at the farmer's market asked if I had a hardy white grape in my yard. Because I don't he is planning on giving me cuttings next year.

Can anyone tell me a foolproof way of getting the cuttings to grow? I see that my Valient grape is rooting along the ground where the vine is touching. But, these white grape cuttings will already be off the plant, with no new roots (I am assuming).



    Bookmark   December 13, 2008 at 1:54PM
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Interesting about the seedless white grape. One word of caution though, many grape varieties can survive the winter cold of zone 3 or so, but they don't get enough heat units to ripen the fruit. Valiant is the earliest ripening of any grape variety I think, but that's still into early September here in Edmonton. Unless the white grape was similarly early-ripening (and I'm not familiar with the variety), having a bunch of immature fruit at the end of the growing season wouldn't be of much use.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2008 at 2:17AM
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I wanted to bring this old post up to ask a variation--any cold climate pruning tips for valiants? Any favored microclimate or tips on how to create microclimates for this grape? Personal experience?


    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 7:44AM
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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

I would think it over very good for your zone, for some of us zone 3 it was a disappointing set back with lots of winterkill. How did everybody else fair?

Here is a link that might be useful: Valiant

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 1:08PM
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marciaz3 Tropical 3 Northwestern Ontario

I planted some for my daughter last summer and they came through the winter fine with no dieback whatsoever.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2011 at 6:23PM
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is valiant more or less hardy than the river grape it's bred from?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2011 at 2:02AM
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