Special Order Plant 2023: Hardy Grape Vines

Homemade Wines, Cordials, Juice, Jam, Jellies. Canning is not necessary as long as you have a freezer. North American, native-based grape vines producing up to 20 pounds on a mature vine. Deep purple richness, full of immune support and home-grown flavor. Read on…

I have stopped buying commercially made fruit juice. Every week I make a quart of concentrated, home-grown, home-made grape juice. I simmer about a quart of frozen grapes from the Mother Vine in my garden. The whole cabin smells amazing. I mash the grapes to get all the goodness out of the deep blue-purple skins and then add a little honey or organic cane sugar to the juice. I never add near the amount directed in recipes. I don’t need to; the grapes sweetened naturally on the vine. How do you know the grapes have reached their sweetest? When you taste several they are all sweet, but spit the seeds into your hand. When the grapes have reached their peak natural sweetness the seeds will be turning from green to brown.

This variety of grape was developed by the University of South Dakota from a cross of two native grapes: Vitis labrusca of the northeast and Vitis riparia taken from the Missouri River banks in eastern Montana. It produces beautiful blue-purple grapes, slightly larger and sweeter than the Concord grape. They have seeds. They can be eaten right off the vine when ripe. They have a rich, deep flavor very good for wines and cordials as well as jams and jellies.

Once again, as with the deep blue berries of the elderberry, the skins of the grapes are full of polyphenols which have shown support of cardiac and blood pressure and anti-inflammatory health.

The native ancestors of this variety have given it some other important traits. The leaves are relatively large and the flowers are mostly protected from wind and rain. They are very small and usually light green, but very hardy. This also means that the flowers that are best protected produce fruit which is also hidden under the leaves. Each property is different, but I have never had problems with birds…usually because they are busy with the chokecherries that ripen about the same time. They are hardy against endemic mosaic disease. This disease is carried by nematodes that are native to our soils and symptoms appear in the leaves as they turn colors and the tissue between the veins dries and crumbles. My oldest vine has the disease in warm, wet springs and has consistently given me between 15 and 20 pounds of fruit in those years.

I will have bareroot 2-3 year old vines and I may also have some 1-2 gallon pot first year vines.

2- 3 year old Vines $22.50
First year Vines $17.50

To reserve your vines please contact me via text at 3072628043 or email at tarafarmandnursery@gmail.com

Note: These are sold only in the Casper Wyoming area; I do not ship.

4 responses to “Special Order Plant 2023: Hardy Grape Vines”

  1. I am drooling at the prospect of homegrown grapes! I assume they’ll be ready for pickup in June like the elderberries? Also can you describe the ideal location for planting the vines? I found that part of the elderberry post very helpful.

    • Hello!! These vines like full sun to some filtered afternoon light. Against a fence or a wall out of the wind. They will need a trellis or slick wire or string to cling to. They don’t require a lot of water, but regular watering a few times a week when the temps are under 80. A run of 90 degree days will require a little water every day. I highly recommend a ground cover to keep some moisture in. I will be posting about the ground cover mixture I have next week! LLG

  2. This sounds like such a wonderful and unique way to make fruit juice! I love the idea of using homegrown grapes from your own vine, and having the cabin smell amazing as you simmer them – that’s so special. I’m curious, how do you know when the grapes have reached their sweetest? Is there an easy way to tell, or do you just have to sample them one by one?

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