Grape Leaf

Wild Grape Leaf

I’ve not been very successful with modern commercial grape varieties that I’ve tried here at our home but the wild grapes do well. Well at growing at least. They don’t produce a lot of grapes and what they do offer are quite small and bitter.

I do have one commercial grape vine growing up by the cottage that I have not yet managed to kill. It is on the south east face of the cottage up against the stonework and sheltered well from the wind. This gives me hope that with the right varieties and micro-climates I might be able to grow more.

We’re in Zone 3 which is a pretty tough climate. I would be curious to hear from anyone in our climate, or harsher, who is succeeding with grapes. What varieties and tricks have you found that work?

Outdoors: 67°F/43°F Sunny
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/62°F

Daily Spark: “The teacher opens the door, but the student must enter on their own.” -old proverb

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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14 Responses to Grape Leaf

  1. wacky internet comment guY says:

    I have seen a gigantic concord grape vine in your area, trellised, sheltered in a small dip near the top of the mountain, in a maintained clearing where it was flat and the topsoil was deep. I was told it is over 100 years old. The granite bedrock protruding nearby had fresh water springing from its cracks. I was also told that the vines output varied greatly year to year.

  2. Patrick says:

    We tried commercial varieties just south of you a bit, in Upstate NY. I was a kid and they didn’t take very well, at all. We got the idea from the many wild grapes that we had in the back yard. Just like yours, they didn’t taste all that good.

    The leaves were useful for cooking, though. My family were not quite that adept at some of the more esoteric dishes of the time, offered by the immigrant communities that were springing up around us. But we enjoyed the rewards when they picked our leaves and shared the results. My mom was not a great cook to begin with (three kids, two jobs and single), and the thought of her trying to cook with grape leaves would have been hilarious.

    I was told the wild ones are better to cook with. Tougher and bigger than the commercial stuff. So turn to Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cooking and you might have a winner in that vine. Maybe grape leaf hotdogs?

    • Aye, I like the leaves for both cooked and pickled dishes. I have always used the wild ones because that was what was at hand.

    • Peter says:

      Patrick, where in NY are you? I don’t know how it compares latitude-wise, but Konstatin Frank’s work on cold-hardy rootstock is what helped make the Finger Lake’s name for wines again. The rootstock was the key from what I read somewhere just a couple days ago.

      And they do make ice wine on the Niagara Peninsula in Canada, so there you go. :-)

      • Patrick says:

        I was in Syracuse for the first 18 years of my life. Now I am in the Mid-Atlantic Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland.

        I am also familiar with the wines of the Finger Lakes. I toured them a few times when I was visiting family.

        We were city kids, and vines for wine were far from our plan. We just thought it’d be cool to raise some eating grapes. My brother and I ordered various vines from Stark Bros (I think) and tried them at different locations. Some took better than others, but none really panned out. The veggies did much better, but they didn’t have to overwinter, of course.

        Anyway, I think you are right. We just picked the wrong stock.

        Those wild ones would grow huge leaves and vines, though.

  3. Wacky internet comment guy says:

    Grape leaf bacon rolls. I don’t know how good it would be, or which way to wrap and roll them, or what else to add and season, or how to cook them. I just know bacon wins!

  4. Norbert says:

    Making pickles the old way, via fermentation, I’m told the tannins in grape leaves keep them crisp and crunchy. I have yet to make them without to prove they are the cause.

  5. Bob says:

    Wild grape grow prolifically in our area of southern Ontario. Fortunately, grape leaves are one of our pigs’ favourite food and they come running when I pull a big pile of grape vines out of the trees and bushes in their paddock. They’ll even try pushing the goats aside in their eagerness to get at the leaves. Sumac leaves are another favourite of theirs and they also grow rampantly in places here.

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