What kind of grapes do I want to buy?

What kind of grapes do I want to buy?

Post by Roland L. Behun » Sun, 10 Oct 1993 15:44:46

I did manage to get an answer that I can plant grapes up to
the first hard frost around here.  I also started looking
to buy grapes....this raised up another question...


Hello Everybody,

Well I have been talking to people, and trying to find out what kind
of grapes I want to grow to make wine out of.  It seems I have a
choice of grapes that I can get to grow here in Utah.

I stopped by the extension office of Utah State University (our aggie
college), and they had a fact sheet on grapes.  It seems a few
different kinds of grapes will grow here, and do fairly well.

Canada Muscat - the facts sheet listed these as a white wine grape,
                but the reading I have done seems to say these have a
                rather foxy flavor and most of the wine books
                recommend staying away from making wine out of these

Himrod -        a white seedless grape.  The books I have read about
                wine mention Thompson seedless grapes, but say nothing
                about himrod seedless grapes.  The people at the
                nursery said this were a little bit on the tart side.

Catawba -       A little sweeter than the Himrod.  One of the books
                about wine did say that people were making white wine
                out of this grape.  I am really leaning towards this
                grape as one nursery sells the grape vines for $3.49
                and currently has a 30% off all vines in stock, and
                seems to be well stocked in this vine.  The vines also
                look to be of a size that will produce grapes next
                year if I manage to get them planted before the first
                hard frost.    (So I could get 4 vines for $10 or 6
                vines for $15.)

Niagara         The kind of grapes I started looking for, but I have
                not found a nursery that has them in stock this late
                in the year (yet).

Buffalo-Fredonia- I know nothing about this grape.

Suffolk Red -   A read seedless grape.

The Niagara, Catawba, and Canada Muscat are grapes native to north
America so are resistant to the phylloxera problem.  I am not sure
about the Buffalo-Fredoia the Suffolk Red, or the Himrod grape.  I am
after white wine grapes, so I think I am looking at the Canada Muscat,
the Himrod, Niagara, or Catawba grapes.  I am going to be looking
sometime on Saturday, and maybe buying grape vines then.  Does anybody
have experience making wine from any of these grapes, and how did it
turn out?  Would you use the same kind of grapes again?  Does anybody
know the acidity and sugar content of the different grapes (this may
have to be a subjective rather than objective answer...I know the
sugar and acidity depend on the climate from year to year and place to
place, but one grape will have a tendency to have a higher sugar and
lower acidity than another grape grown in the same soil.

My wife seems to like a wine made from the Reisling grape, but that
will not grow well in this part of Utah (I have heard that the winery
in Moab is mucking around with this grape, but the winery in Moab does
not make that good of wine...I think they are still a little new at
it, and are trying to use the European stock of grapes that doesn't
really do to well in this area.)  I am starting to develop a taste for
a wine made out of the Sirah grape, but that is a red grape grown in
very hot climates, and would not survive a winter in Utah.  Also, since
my wife seems to like the white wines better, I should try making
wines that she would also drink.

So what kind of grapes do I wish to buy?

Thanks in advance
I am in Utah, this account is so I can read the USENET news!


What kind of grapes do I want to buy?

Post by Roland L. Behun » Mon, 11 Oct 1993 06:43:32

Hello again,

Well I went about bought 5 of the catawba vines.  Before doing this
I went to the library and read up on this grape.

It seems some people on the EAst Coast fo the U.S. are making
Champayne out of this grape.  The grapes have a rose colored skin, adn
produce a white juice.  

The vines are in there 2nd year, so by planting them, and training them
to a new trellis, I should get about 5 gallons of juice off the
five vines next year.  Also I think with the rose colored skin, I may
be aboe to make a rose false wine by adding the amount of juice I
opps, adding water and sugar in proprotion to the amount of juice produce
by the grapes.  So I am thinking next year I will get around 10 gallons
ro wine...5 gallons of white, and 5 gallons of rose.

So I think I can manage to get 50 bottles of wine off of 5 vines.

I am in Utah, this account is so I can read the USENET news!


What kind of grapes do I want to buy?

Post by Wes Meland » Thu, 14 Oct 1993 01:00:29

    So what kind of grapes do I wish to buy?

    Thanks in advance
    I am in Utah, this account is so I can read the USENET news!

Hi Roland,

I would recommend none of these.  I faced a similar problem two years ago
when trying to locate wine grapes suitable for the front range (denver)
of Colorado.  My Extension Office, like yours ,only had information
on table grapes.  I believe you will not be satisfied with the results
obtainable with these grapes.  

I am presently growing and vinting French Hybrid grapes.  These are complex
crosses between European wine grapes and American grapes, developed in
the 19th century.  They were developed specifically for wine production,
and are much hardier than the European grapes.  

These vines are available from Miller Nursuries in Canandaiugua, New York,
1-800-836-9630, and from several other growers.  Miller ships these only
for spring planting, since they are bare root, one year vines.  The vines
are readily propagated by rooting cuttings, so you can start small and
expand with your own new vines.

The book From Vines to Wines, by Jeff Cox, contains a lot of information
on French Hybrids, and is a good place to start.  Philip Wagner's A Wine
Grower's Guide is an execellent advanced text.  Mr. Wagner has grown these
grapes for atleast 50 years, and brought many of these grapes over from France.

I am working on a large article on French Hybrids for the FAQ.  I hope to
have it done before Christmas, if I can get some help from my spouse, who
is a Master Gardener and technical writer.

Happy Vinting,