Grape vines can grow to reach more than 100 years in age. Because traditionally European varieties brought to North America were quickly killed by diseases in North American soil, many North American varieties are either native to this continent, such as the muscadine, or hybrids of hearty North American varieties that have been crossbred to European varieties for hardiness. Grape vines must be carefully purchased so that they are adapted to survive in your climate zone, soil and are resistant to diseases and insects in your location.
Determine the USDA temperate zone and soil characteristics for your area. Also, become aware of any fungal diseases or pests that affect grapes in your area. You can contact a cooperative extension service for this information.
Select grape varieties that are resistant to fungal diseases and adapted to your climate zone. In wine growing states, state agricultural colleges might have developed hybrid grapes that are adapted to that state's climate challenges.
Ask other grape growers for recommendations about where to obtain your grape vines. By asking vineyard owners or serious grape growing hobbyists for recommendations, you can locate a resource for grape vines that fits your needs.
Time your purchase for early spring. This is when grape vines should be planted so that they can develop extensive roots to protect them through the winter. Some nurseries will allow you to order plants any time of the year, and will ship them to you in spring for planting. Plants from these nurseries can be ordered by phone or through the Internet.