In the beauty pageant of fruit, grapes are certainly one of the more comely and congenial contestants. Colorful, sweet and worldly, grapes garner a place in our hearts rarely shared by other members of proper orchard society. Part rascal, part seductress, my homegrown grapes have me wrapped around their pretty little tendrils. And one I love in particular (aptly named for the Goddess of Love) has my utmost attention and respect: the Venus grape.
Developed by the University of Arkansas, the Venus grape is a seedless blue-black table or dessert grape with a thickish skin and flavor of labrusca and muscat. In my mini-vineyard, Venus produces fully-formed fruit and ripens well, no small feat in a place where the heat index tops out at sweater-weather.
Why I Love the Venus Grape
- tight clusters
- grapes ripen all at once
- sweet foxy flavor
- early ripening (September in the Northwest)
- resistant to fruit cracking
- stores well
- medium-sized berry
- beautiful color
- vigorous vine
- thick leaf canopy hides grapes from from hungry birds
Side-by-Side With Other Grapes I Grow
Yep, if I only had one table grape to grow in the Pacific Northwest, I’d make it Venus, and if I could add one more, I’d pair it without Glenora grape, which is also a beautifully ornamental vine with dramatic red fall color. Happy growing and good luck!
Venus Grape: Related Links
- Raintree Nursery Venus Grape
- Double A Vineyard: buy Venus grape, and many other grapes
- Table grape varieties developed by University of Arkansas
- Taste test for Venus grape
- Cornell University table grape info list
- Growing grapes in a cool climate (Maritime Pacific NW)
- WSU grape research (great links, many resources)