Short Season Grapes in Northwest Penna.


Ongoing Evaluation of Some Varieties I'm Growing

St. Pepin- Moderately open cluster of small to medium size bronze-gold to green-gold berries. Ripe on 9/10 in 1998. Uneven ripening. Tender skin, fully edible; not sour or bitter. Very sweet when ripe but still quite good even before fully ripe

Kandiyohi (ES414)- Very large blue berry in large tight clusters. Also bears heavy crops. Probably needs heavy winter pruning to reduce crop load. Fruit of fair quality made very good juice, but was not sweet enough for my taste as a table grape. This might not be a problem if the crop size is controlled better. Useable by 9/10 but full ripeness was closer to 9/20.

Trollhaugen (ES3-22-18)- Early (9/7) blue semi-seedless (very soft seeds). Sweet small to medium size berries in full clusters. Clusters were open in 97 & tight in 98. Good neutral flavor.

ES 5-4-19 - Ripe by 8/24. Blue mild sweet soft berries. Had some trouble with bird damage. Reputedly hardy to –42F. Productive.

Lorelei (ES 5-4-29) – My favorite for flavor. Beautiful medium yellow berry with dusty bloom and brown-red freckles in loose clusters. Distinct muscat flavor and extremely sweet. Ripens around 9/10. Considered both a wine and table grape.



Last edited on 2 July 2004

St. Pepin

Those knowledgeable about grape growing and the major grape growing regions of the world will know that a narrow strip of land only a few miles wide in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York along the south shore of Lake Erie produces more Concord grapes than any other area of the world.  Responding to economic conditions, growers in this area have recently begun growing wine grapes and producing some fine wines there as well. 

Although I live near this grape belt and suffer or enjoy, depending upon one's point of view, the benefits of lake effect snows during winter, I do not benefit from the moderation of temperatures from Lake Erie which would make grape and other fruit culture a viable commercial possibility.


We often get temperatures below -22 F, nearly every year sees frost about the time the grapes are blooming, and our summers are cool and humid. Consequently grape growing here challenges the cold weather hardiness and disease resistance of each vine.  I am looking for tough grapes with excellent flavor, especially muscat, for juices, processing and table use.





E.S. 5-4-19