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Commercial Horticulture > Comm Hort Blog > Posts > Evaluation of Pierce's Disease Tolerant Hybrid Bunch Grape Cultivars

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Eleven Pierce's disease (PD) tolerant American and French-American hybrid bunch grape cultivars including 'Black Spanish', 'Blanc du Bois', 'Champanel', 'Conquistador', 'Cynthiana', 'Favorite', 'Lake Emerald', 'Stover', 'Villard Blanc', 'Seyval Blanc' and 'Seyval Blanc' grafted on Coudrec 3309 rootstock ('Seyval Blanc'/3309C) were planted at the Sand Mountain Research and Extension Center (SMREC) in Crossville, AL in 2008 to study the vegetative and cropping potential of PD tolerant hybrid bunch grape cultivars in Alabama environment. Our long-term assessment results indicate that 'Champanel' has the most vigorous vegetative growth, while 'Seyval Blanc' and 'Seyval Blanc'/3309C were the weakest growing cultivars. 'Stover' has the earliest shoot development, while 'Champanel' and 'Cynthiana' shoot development is late. Typically 'Seyval Blanc' and 'Seyval Blanc'/3309C have the earliest fruit maturity and are harvested in mid-August. Due to the warmer 2017 season, harvest started in late July, about two weeks earlier.  'Champanel' produced the largest yield of 56 lb/vine and had the largest berries of 4.2 g. 'Favorite', 'Black Spanish', Blanc du Bios', 'Villard Blanc', 'Stover' and 'Lake Emerald' produced between 31 and 54 lb/vine in 2017.  When we compare the cumulative yield per vine for the period 2011-2017, 'Villard Blanc' shows the highest cropping potential with an average of 230 lb/vine, followed by 'Favorite' with 212 lb/vine and 'Black Spanish' with 176 lb/vine (Figure 1). 'Villard Blanc' and 'Favorite' also produced the largest fruit clusters of 194.6 and 192.0 g respectively. 

Based on their overall performance 'Villard Blanc', 'Black Spanish' and 'Blanc du Bois' are considered suitable for commercial production in Alabama and the Southeast. In addition to their high cropping potential, attractive large fruit clusters, and resistance to berry rot diseases 'Champanel' and 'Favorite' are considered suitable for home grape production with least pesticide application.

Cumulative yield of grape varieties

Elina Coneva, Extension Fruit Crops Specialist


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