It's sad seeing what has happened to produce over the years. We have sacrified a lot in this country, especially when it comes to flavor. Grapes are certainly a sad state of affaris. While people will seek high and low to try grapes in their fermented form (wine) but when it comes to table grapes, they pick big balls of sugar water, with no real flavor in site. If you have spend your whole life eating nothing but those bags of green, red, or black, then you really have been missing out. My hope is that after reading this post you will search out some of these varieties (I found them at grocery stores and farmer's markets) and maybe even take the plunge grow them yourself.
My Favorite Grape Varieties
1. Marquis Grapes | Read my post on this variety | Buy plant
Green grapes don't get much better than this. This variety has a sweet flavor with a nice tart finish. Many people think they have a Concord like flavor. They are also seedless which is always makes for easy snacking.
Grows in Zones 5-8. Cold hardy
Grows to 4-10 feet high
Harvest 10 days before concords, meaning late August to early September
2. Thomcord Grapes | Read my post on this variety | Buy plant
This variety combines the very common green seedless variety, the Thompson with the ultimate juice variety, the Concord. This has a Concord flavor that is a bit milder than the Concord, but still very flavorful, not to mention it's seedless which the Concord can't say.
Recommended for zones 5-9, heat tolerant
Grows to 4-6 feet high
Ripens in August
3. Candace Grapes | Read my post on this variety | Buy plant
Candace are a red grape that is sweet and taste amazing. Another seedless variety. They look like your standard red grape, so they would be fun to slip to someone who thinks they are getting the standard supermarket one. What a nice surprise for the tastebuds!
Can be grown in zones 5-8
It preforms well even after a harsh winter
Ripens in August
4. Lakemont Grapes | Read my post on this variety | Buy plant
These grapes maybe small, but they do pack a honey sweet, flavorful punch. One of the better tasting small grape varieties, such as Champagne grapes. These kid-sized grapes would make good editions to salads. They are just a fun variety that is worth checking out.
Grows in zones 5-8
Ripens in the beginning of September
5. Himrod Grapes | Read my post on this variety | Buy plant
What I live about this grape is it's unique flavor. It's sweet/tart with a spicy, almost cinnamon like flavor that lingers on the tongue. Also with a name like "Himrod" where can you go wrong? This is one of the first local grape varieties I find in stores in the summer.
Hardy down to zone 5
Ripens early in the season
Grows to 8-10 feet tall
I'm glad someone else has noticed the bland tasting grapes in stores, no matter what the color or price. When I was growing up, my best friend's parents had two verities of grapes in their backyard, a deep purple grape and a tart green one ( I was young , what did I know about variety :D) . I lived for those grapes and would pay two or three times the local store prices if they carried them. I've heard that the good ones are used for wine making but it seems to me that some entrepreneur would find a market for them in stores. I bet a lot of people are unaware of how good grapes can be, especially the younger-20's generation who have grown up with what's been available. It reminds me of when I was young, my parents used to make coffee in a percolator ( that circulates the water through the coffee grounds over and over ) which was the worst possible way, but it was the recommended way. Who ever heard of Arabica Beans ? 😀 My point being, we ate and drank what was available but the general public has become much more sophisticated in their choices and demands. I'm thinking about growing my own grapes ! Sorry to go on, but it's been on my mind ?
Hi, thanks for this post. I want to grow grapes and i didn't know which plant to buy. I'm in zone 5. I buy grapes ALL THE TIME. My favorite are Muskat but they can't be grown in this zone. Thanks for the guidance. janet
You're most welcome. That is the same zone that I am in as well. All those grapes on the list I have eaten and they were all grown in Zone 5. Best of luck to you. And would love to hear of your progress!
you missed NIAGARA grapes, Very Delicious 2nd week of September I have been growing them Since 2015 Love Them. Everyone around me wants when they are ready and Ripe. Green yellowish like Candy with a deep grape taste.
Yes I need to include them as well. The smell of the grapes is enough alone. You can make wonderful jelly with them.