The Q&A Archives: Niagara Grapes

Question: My husband and I just started planting a garden this year. He recently purchased two grape vines. One Concord and one Niagara. We've never heard of Niagara grapes. Are they white grapes and what is the general maintenance for grapes? Do we need to do anything special to them during the winter?

Answer: Niagara is a seeded, greenish white American or "Labrusca" variety described as having a strong foxy (or musty) flavor and aroma. Most Labruscas are used mainly for eating and for juice, but Niagara is considered to be an excellent wine grape. The Concord types on the other hand are usually used for juice and jelly, although any grape can be used for wine.

Basic care for grapes includes annual pruning during late winter and, since grapes are subject to so many foliar problems, most gardeners also follow a careful spray regimen. Your local County Extension office should be able to give you information about the timing and types of sprays recommended for grapes in your local area each year. Their telephone number in Sussex County is 579-0895.

For some very detailed instructions about growing grapes including helpful pruning diagrams, be sure to visit this web site:

Enjoy your grapes!

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