Grapes are a popular fruit in many home gardens in Texas. They can be used to make jelly, wine and juice. Grape vines grown on arbors or along fences make attractive additions to many landscapes. Growing grapes in Texas should be easy since almost half of all grape varieties are native to the state. However, growing high-quality grapes for wine making and other uses is more challenging. Diseases, such as Pierce's disease, Black Rot and Downy Mildew, make growing many grape vine varieties difficult. Look for vines that are disease resistant if possible.
Blanc duBois grapes are a good choice to be grown in South and Central Texas, because they are resistant to Pierce's disease. However, they are difficult to grow near the Gulf Coast and East Texas, because the high humidity and rainy conditions in these areas make the vines susceptible to Black Rot. Blanc duBois vines produce medium-sized clusters of white grapes that are good for both wine and jelly.
Another Pierce's disease resistant vine is Black Spanish. It produces large clusters of small black grapes that can be used to make wine, juice and jelly. This vine, which is susceptible to both Black Rot and Downy Mildew, is especially well suited for South Texas growing conditions.
Champanel is an easy to grow grape that is resistant to Pierce's disease, Black Rot and Downy Mildew, making it an excellent choice for Texas gardens. It produces lots of dark purple grapes that are good for making red jelly.
Summit is a muscadine grape that is disease-resistant and native to East Texas. It produces large bronze fruits that are good for making jelly, jam and juice.
Another popular muscadine grape vine is Carlos. This disease-resistant vine produces small to medium bronze fruits that are good for wine making.