Grapes in San Diego area

 Beginning now, July 28, 2019, I'm sharing some of my observations with growing grapes here in the San Diego area, with emphasis on home garden growing.   I only grow grapes with seeds, -  to me with-seed grapes have a more nutritive feel to my body,... apparently a more nutritive effect on my body.  These are all grown with reference to fresh-eating.  I'm not involved with wine-concerns:

Growing notes:  To optimize fruit quality and consistency of bearing abundant crops each year, it's preferable to have no more than one bunch of grapes per vine-shoot.   In some cases, on some shoots, two bunches is ok.

Below is a listing of varieties I've grown and grow and their description from my experience, and which you can compare and contrast with information by others online, and potentially eventually your own experiences:

Price:   I got cuttings from Lon Rombough (  Not much fragrance, mostly a neutral plain flavor with maybe a tad of labrusca/Concord type flavor, rather sweet with some tang, so-so quality.   Round fruit.  Moderate vigor to vigorous.    Mainly a vinifera/labrusca hybrid, medium size fruit.   Dark blue/purple/burgundy skin (aka blurplegundy).  Pretty much disease free. Typically no split fruit.   Early ripening, mainly July, June earliest.   Very productive.

New York Muscat:  See early blog entry, page 1 on blog.    Superb, beautiful flavor, some sweet-spice, well balanced sweet, not so tangy, more so mild on acidity, but a bit.  Flavor combo of muscat, labrusca, and vanilla.   Burgundy skin color.  Round fruit.   Pretty much disease free.  Moderate vigor on own roots.   Moderately high vigor when grafted onto Isabella/California-Concord, much more productive grafted,.... and so, I most recommend it grafted onto Isabella/CC, although it's fair enough in growth and productivity on its own roots.   Does not need full sun for good grapes.   No splitting fruit.  Early mid-season ripening, mainly July.  

Golden Muscat:   Vigorous to moderate grower, pretty much disease free.   Fruit rather susceptible to splitting, but, case by case situation, splitting is not consistent in occurrence, whether with nearby water or only minimal ambient water / dry circumstances.    There are locations wherein the fruit don't split, whether with nearby regular moisture or not.    Does not need full sun for good grapes.  Rather drought tolerant, not needy.   Light green/golden colored skin.  Large somewhat elliptical fruit, not round.  Refreshing tangy sweet flavor, juicy.   Very productive.

Ontario:   Moderate vigor.  Best grafted at least in some situations, especially when grown in sandy-ish soils.   I've grafted it onto Muscat Hamburg on which the Ontario has grown and produced very well.    Susceptible to leaf burn more so than other varieities, but still worthwhile enough and otherwise pretty much disease free.  Light green fruit, potentially a little golden when very ripe.   Beautiful mild labrusca flavor with other pleasant subtle flavor notes.  Medium size round fruit.   Very productive if grafted onto strong rootstock.

Cayuga:   Good vigor.   Pretty much disease free.   Very productive.   Light green to greenish yellowish when ripe.   Well balanced sweet tang.   A little more intense flavor than Ontario, but not as 'flavorful' as Ontario, if that makes any sense.   A bit more tannic and tangy than Ontario, though still very pleasant.   Ontario has a more 'clean and fresh' flavor, if that might make any sense to you.    Skin a bit thicker than Ontario.   Medium size round fruit.    Which do I prefer?:   Ontario if grafted onto strong growing rootstock.    Cayuga if grown on its own roots, since Cayuga grows more strongly and has healthier fuller leaves, not the leaf burn susceptability that Ontario has,... though the leaf burn on Ontario is tolerable since the grapes are high quality.


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