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Where to find information about grape variants?

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Taschirmer

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So... I have decided that I want to turn about 1/4 acre into rows of grape vines and I wanted find out information about several less common variants of grapes and hybrids made from them (along with probably a means to buy them). There is a bunch of information on Vitis vinifera and Vitis labrusca, but for example Vitis monticola seems quite lacking in information.

I am not saying I shouldn't use the common ones, I was just seeing if there was a source of information that could be shared with me.
 

Taschirmer

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I live in eastern Kansas. My intentions for the grapes are: table, jelly, juice, and trying my hand at wine. To this end, the current plan was 20-25% in concord, using what I learned is called the 'geneva double curtain'. The rest is largely undecided, but Vitis rotundifolia's description make it sound like something I might want a few vine of.
 

balatonwine

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You did not say what was the source of your information, so at the risk of being redundant, I highly suggest you contact your local agricultural extension if you have not done so already:

http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=kansas+agricultural+extension+grapes

All grapes are not created equal. And appropriate grape variety and trellis design can vary between site. Picking the wrong grape or trellis system for your area may be like trying to plant citrus in Kansas or wheat in Florida. You may get it to work, but only with a lot of effort and thus maybe not worth it.
 

salcoco

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there is a community college in Owego KS(?) I think that right, that has a program going on what grapes are best to grow in Kansas.

Check with the Kansas Grape Growers Associations they may have more details on web site or persons to contact.

I presently live in a independent retirement community in Leawood, but used to grow gapes and actually operated a winery in Kansas City Kansas for quite a while. Your interest are commendable but the practical problem is the winters in Kansas and the disease pressure. Most vinifera are not viable although some success with Riesling and Cabernet franc have occurred. French and American Hybrids are the best at least for commercial ventures.

One winery, Vox in Weston. specializes in Munson Hybrids. Mr Munson did many crosses of wines, and Vox is the only one in area growing them. if you wish to be unique, they would be gad to discus it with you,
 

treesaver

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Welcome to wine talk. I'm about thirty miles north of Wamego in NE Ks. I have five different cultivars and have been growing a hobby vinyard for about eighteen years now. We need more info to really help you on what cultivars you want to plant, as in do you prefer white or red wines and how the land lies where you wish to plant said grapes. If you pick the wrong vines, you really make yourself a ton of work, and the same can be said about the location you put the vines! If your in the area, stop by and chat! Lee
 

Taschirmer

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Alright, lets get some replies in...

@balatonwine
I was starting with wikipedia for a list of species.

It would so happen I have asked my local extension office for information in relation to grapes (not this exact question though). They gave me a link to here that also has a link to here on it.
The first link does give some cultivar names in relation to grape variants (I had seemingly selected for my first one, a variant without such a list). The second link has named grapes, so I will have to work in the opposite direction (hybrid grape->cultivar->species). I also doubt the list is exhaustive considering the number of Asian grape variants (which I am in no way concerned about, just making a point).

Already trying citrus in Kansas, mini-versions so we can move them inside, of course.

@salcoco
Not really my original goal, but I suppose if I find my task too daunting, that will be another place to use as a cheat sheet. It is worth checking out at the very least. I could probably pull up the 'grape census' I found a while back as well.

That is probably a good idea... Their website seems to not exist anymore... Looks like Facebook might be their new website?

I actually asked about the less common variants, vinifera I feel falls into the more common of variants. This is not to say I wouldn't be interested in hybrids of vinifera with other species, just I would most likely be looking from the other side.

Will defiantly look into it.

@treesaver
I have been informed by those better versed, red. I am not sure what you mean for 'how the land lies'. I know I will be putting the vines in a west-east direction due to the north-south being much shorter. The area is exposed to the north, as it is behind the house's protective trees. I can't speak for the exact soil composition, but I know we have a fair bit of clay.

State size wise, we are fairly close, it would still be a decent trip though (about a trip to KC).
 

treesaver

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The comment I made of "how the land lies" is best explained by, side hills, openess of the area (not ringed or shaded by trees, etc). Much has been written about micro locations, with the right conditions to let frost slide down a slope (it always sinks down) and away from the vines. North slope verses south slope, that was what I was refering to.

My last cultivar that I have planted the last two years, have come with good reviews. I left a few bunches on some two leafe vines to see how the grapes would stack up against the others. I think it will be a win! That cultivar is verona, one of Tom Plotcher's new varieties. If my taste bud tell me anything, it looks to be a winner. Norton has also ben a good one for our climate, diesease free (at least on my place). I also grow frontenac, but both norton and frontenac are a higher acid grape, and you have to take that into consideration in the way you vint your wine. Which town are you near?

Oh, and I'm a "red" guy too!
 

balatonwine

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It would so happen I have asked my local extension office for information in relation to grapes (not this exact question though). They gave me a link to here that also has a link to here on it.
Excellent. I did expect my suggested source was redundant.

But from the answers, I suspect (and I may certainly be wrong) you are asking the wrong questions to start a vineyard.

That is, one does not simply seek out "less common varieties" to plant, but rather one "normally" should select the "ideal" grape to plant in your area to make the best wine/jam/etc with the least amount of work (that revolves around the idea of terroir). You may of course plant exotic varieties if you wish. But my point was simply that will probably be more work, with maybe less than ideal results (or not -- anything can happen). But if that extra work is part of the hobby for you, that is fine also. I have an experimental variety. It has taken 8 years for it to "come into its own" where I planted it. And it still is the one most likely to be heavily damaged with any late frost.
 
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salcoco

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https://www.voxvineyards.com/our-story/ I recommend a visit to this web site and a chat with Jerry Esterhold owner of the winery with regard to American grape varieties growing in Weston Missouri. I believe it couples grapes that can grow here, with the perception of exotic varieties.
 

Taschirmer

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@treesaver

Green is the fence line, yellow is the estimated area allocated, red is the rough northern bounds of the 'flat' area (it is not quite flat but much closer than beyond it), the white lines try to indicate the direction of slope. The northeast corner is the lowest point and the field beyond goes quite a ways before going up again. The field beyond is dotted with trees. the vast majority of the trees in this picture and beyond the fence are conifers. I intend to start at the fence with the rows of grapes and work south. Please ignore the tent.

Clinton & Overbrook are the two closest things I would refer to as towns.

@balatonwine
Let me try and describe my goal this way... Open this PDF from one of the top hit sites for the search 'best grapes to plant in Kansas' and then click 'Grape Cultivars'. Now lets say you visit several other similar sources and get other limited lists, probably with some overlap, after all that you will have a list of the 'best grapes to plant in Kansas'. What you won't have is a full list of grapes you can successfully plant in Kansas.

I don't just want to plant the 'exotic' stuff, but I do want to have the chance to do some critical thinking with information gathered about less common variants. I think the Munsons that salcoco mentioned are a great example of this. Their specie is mainly used for its rootstook, but still produces grapes. Using my earlier link as a reference, v. longii has the same basic description. Will it work in Kansas? How good are the grapes? I don't know, I haven't found that information yet.

@salcoco
They are very much on my radar and I do want to thank you for mentioning them.
 

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