The green Niagara grape (Vitis labrusca) was first bred in 1868 by crossing the Concord grape with the white Cassady grape. C.L. Hoag and B.W. Clark first successfully bred the Niagara grape in Niagara County, New York. The grape offers a sweet and tart flavor with a strong aroma. The grapes became popular for consuming as a fruit treat, jellies, jams, juice and in wine production.
Wine and Juice
The Niagara grape is a member of the American Vitis labrusca. Wine produced from the Niagara grape offers a lemon, musky flavor. It is the most prominent grape used in the manufacturer of grape juice.
An excellent choice for regions of the country that often have sustained cold weather, the Niagara grape offers extreme cold hardiness. The vine is deciduous and offers early-season fruit production. It prefers to be located in an area of full sun. The vines are easily trained to a trellis or arbor and grow approximately 25 feet.
Planting of the vines should occur in the early spring. The vines prefer well-drained soil conditions. The plants will not tolerate a flooded root system. An ideal soil pH is 5.0 and 5.5. Several applications throughout the year of 5-10-10 fertilizer benefit the grape vine. Space grape vines 8 feet apart. Add ample mulch around the plants to prevent weed growth, which can rob the grape vine of needed nutrients. Mulch also helps the soil retain moisture.
Pruning of the grape vines is required after the first year's growth. The Niagara grape is sensitive to overpruning and its production can be severely affected if too much growth is removed. Prune when the vines are dormant in early spring.
Harvest of the Niagara grape vines begins when the vines are three years old. A full crop can be expected when the vines are five years old if all growing conditions have been met.