This website’s purpose is to share information on cold-climate grape growing and Organic gardening.
This work would not be possible without all the work done by others known and unknown throughout grapes’ thousands of years of history. The earliest recorded wine making was 8,000 years ago in Georgia located on the Black Sea between Russia and Turkey.
Cold-hardy grapes are grown world-wide with cultivars breed for local conditions. This website is focused on disease-resistant cold-hardy grapes grown in the USA – some developed in the USA and some from other countries but available in the USA.
Universities have contributed to the development of grapes. In the USA new varieties of cold-hardy grapes have been breed by the University of Minnesota and Cornell University.
Private breeders have also made significant contributions. Elmer Swenson is often called the grandfather of cold-hardy grapes in the USA, having created thousands of new cold-hardy grape cultivars. Bruce Smith has described this ‘early’ history in this PDF, https://viticulture.unl.edu/publication/Elmer%20History%20-%20Old%20Cultivars%20Presentation.pdf
I have listed some useful resources for grape growers on my page, http://ctgrapes.org/resources.html, and wish to thank the efforts of the people providing this information.
In addition. I like to thank the nurseries listed on my page, http://www.ctgrapes.org/nurseries.html, that provide the bulk of the vines for my trials. It takes dedication and hard work to provide these vines.
Also, I would like to personally thank several people.
Alexandru Bortnov, http://www.chateaubortnov.com,
is a disease-resistant cold-hardy grape breeder in Minnesota that has provided
me with plants and cuttings of his best vines for my trials: Clondike, Francis,
Gertruda, Icydora, Jubilee of Swenson, Minnesota Emerald, Mystic Eyes, Petalia
Rose, Polar Isaura, Prestige, Sandy Moon, St. Anna, and St. Paul. These vines
are doing well and have wonderful and tasty flavor profiles. I am so thankful
and happy to have these vines in my trials.
Mark Hart, http://www.mavo.biz of Wisconsin, and Ross Hull, https://www.grayson.edu/Pathways/viticulture-and-enology/vineyard.html,
of Texas are grape growers and breeders that are providing me with Swenson and
Munson cuttings, respectively, that I cannot source anywhere else. Without
their efforts, I could not do trials of these important cultivars. Mark has provided me with ES 5-4-16 (Jukka), ES 8-2-43, ES 10-18-14, ES 10-18-20, ES 10-18-30, Reform, and Solaris. Ross has provided me with Atoka, Beacon, and Wapanuka.
Tom Plocher, http://www.petitepearlplus.com,
is another disease-resistant cold-hardy grape breeder in Minnesota. News of his
vines is spreading fast: Crimson Pearl (early), Petite Pearl (mid-season), and
Verona (late) are disease-resistant grapes for making excellent red wines.
These have yielded picture perfect grapes, without any sprays whatsoever, in my
trials. Tom has provided me with cuttings for my trials and I am very grateful
for these including Skandia (TP 2-1-37) and Skujins.
Susan Rombough, http://www.bunchgrapes.com, has carried on the work of her late-husband Lon Rombough by preserving and providing cuttings for some of the 200 varieties Lon worked on in his lifetime. Lon’s Book, “The Grape Grower – a Guide to Organic Viticulture” is a key work in this field.
Ronald L. Winters and colleagues, http://fairhavenvinenursery.com, at Fairhaven Vineyards in Hawkins, TX, for their tireless dedication to the Heritage genetic lines of post-Civil War American Hybrid grapes. “Nearly eight years of field testing and selection, has led us to the inner secrets of this incredible line of vines! While working with the 279 varieties of American hybrids, Fairhaven has identified, grown, and field tested, relentlessly, to sort out the most desirable varieties from this group of superb vines.” Ronald has provided me with Brilliant, Delicatessen, Lomanto, Mrs. Munson, Muench, Nitodal, and Wine King.
Paul Scungio, a personal friend, has shared with me the hydroponic methods of propagation he uses in his vegetable garden. He suggested I try the same method to propagate the grape cuttings I received. This I did, and it has worked out very well. See the results on my web page here, http://ctgrapes.org/cuttings.html.Growing grapes is a rewarding experience and I thank all those whose efforts have made this possible for us all.