Feb 16, 2016
New table grape variety being developed for Midwest winters

A professor at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) is developing a new variety of table grapes that can survive through cold winters in the Midwest. Brian Smith, professor of horticulture, has mated California grapes with Riverbank grapes, wild grapes found in Wisconsin.

Smith is hoping to plants his first crop this summer at URWF.

Here’s more from Prairie Business:

“The release of the newly adapted cultivars could dramatically transform a once unprofitable, unrealistic crop for this state into a thriving, flourishing, profitable grape industry,” Smith said excitedly.

And that’s all dependent upon a successful mating of the California and wild grapes.

“Success would mean the grape holds up to a hard winter, it would be disease and insect resistant, it needs to taste good, it should have a high yield, and be seedless,” Smith said.

He’ll have to wait four to six years before he gets any fruit. That’s typical, he says, for any kind of new variety of fruit — and it will be worth the wait.

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