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Grape Varieties For Different Regions of Illinois

Robert Skirvin
Professor of Horticulture
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
(217) 333-1530; skirvin@illinois.edu

Twenty-six different grape cultivars were planted at three different sites in Illinois—St. Charles (northern), Urbana (central), and Dixon Springs (southern)—in late spring of 1998. The goal was to learn which cultivars performed best in different regions of Illinois, and whether there was a difference in quality among wines made from different regions. The table below shows cultivars that have been tested and are worthy of consideration.

In 2001, harvest dates were based on quantitative measurements of soluble solids (refractometer) and pH established by the wine maker (Menke) rather than qualitative characters like taste and fruit color. The winemaking potential of the grapes was improved, but harvest date often was pushed back enough (one to three or more weeks) that birds harvested some or all of the grapes before they had reached the levels requested for winemaking. Thus, the prediction of harvest date and the coordination of pickers may become a major problem associated with growing grapes for winemaking.

Ontario (w) Ontario (w) Niagara (w)
Buffalo (b) Buffalo (b) Cayuga White (w)
Niagara (w) Niagara (w) Fredonia (b)
Cayuga White (w) Cayuga White (w) Concord (b)
Steuben (b) Fredonia (b) Swenson Red (r)
Fredonia (b) Steuben (b) Sunbelt (b)
Delaware (r) Concord (b)  
Concord (b) Delaware (r)  
Catawba (r) Sunbelt (b)  
Sunbelt (b)    
Venus (b) Canadice (r) Canadice (r)
Canadice (r) Himrod (w) Reliance (r)
Himrod (w) Reliance (r) Concord Seedless (b)
Reliance (r) Glenora (b) Marquis (w)
Glenora (b) Concord Seedless (b)  
Einset (r) Einset (r)  
Saturn (r) Marquis (w)  
Remailly (w) (trial) Jupiter (trial) (r)  
Jupiter (b) (trial)    
Marquis (trial) (w)    
Mars (trial) (r)    
Vignoles (w) Vignoles (w) Foch (b)
Foch (b) Foch (b) Frontenac (b)
Seyval (w) Baco Noir (r) Leon Millot (b) (trial)
De Chaunac (b) Seyval (w) Seyval (w) (trial)
Chardonel (w) De Chaunac (b) LaCrosse (w) trial
Chambourcin (b) Leon Millot (b) (trial) St. Pepin (w) (trial)
Norton (b) (trial) Chancellor (b) St. Croix (b) (trial)
  Chardonel (w) (trial) De Chaunac (b) (trial)
  LaCrescent (w) (trial) Chancellor (b) (trial)
    LaCrescent (w) (trial)

(w) = white; (r) = red; (b) = blue

Back to Agronomy Day 2003 Index

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