Fruit and Vegetables

Strawberry grapes

Origin and provenance of strawberry grapes

With the word grape strawberry refers to a group of table grapes that all come from the species 'vitis labrusca'. The latter is a climbing variety of the 'vitaceae' family from the eastern regions of the United States. This variety is also called 'Isabella grape' or 'American grape' and was used for the first time in the nineteenth century to counter the phylloxera epidemic that threatened to extinguish the species of wine vines. The vine of this variety was in fact immune to the pest and was used as a new rootstock. In reality this type of vine produced a poor quality wine compared to that of European vines and in the Thirties it was established by law to use this variety only for consumption at the table.

Strawberry grape plant texture

The vine of this variety is a vigorous plant composed of robust shoots that can reach up to 5 meters in length. The shoots have a beautiful reddish color and are ideal for covering walls, gazebos, pergolas and wooden support structures. The leaves of the vine are wide, covered with a light hair and are of an intense green color. Flowering usually occurs in May but, as it is rather modest, it often goes unnoticed. The bunches on the plant are thick, medium in size and can be harvested between the end of September and the beginning of October. The berries are sweet, have a strawberry-like scent and can be eaten as a table fruit. By law it is not possible to obtain wine for sale because the strawberry grape contains more methanol than wine vines.

Variety of strawberry grapes

In nature we can find various types of strawberry grapes such as the Fraga grape which is characterized by its large black grapes. Another very tasty type is the so-called 'strawberry', a species of black grapes that appeared in Italy in the mid-nineteenth century. The taste is very sweet and is usually picked at the beginning of October. The 'white strawberry' has smaller and slightly more acidic berries than the other varieties. Very interesting is also the 'early strawberry', a black grape that tends to ripen at the end of August but which can be harvested until September. Finally we have the 'early white strawberry' which also matures in August and is much sweeter and more fragrant than the other types.

Strawberry grapes: How to grow strawberry grapes

As for the cultivation, today the plant is increasingly used as an ornamental species as it is not possible to grow it on large tracts of land. This variety tends to adapt very well to almost any type of climate and also for this reason it does not require great care. It can be planted in pots or in the garden but in both cases it needs supports to allow it to grow vertically. As for the soil, the vine does not need a particular soil but it will be good to avoid too calcareous soils. The earth will then be fertilized periodically with peat or manure. Furthermore, it will not be necessary to constantly water the plant but care must be taken to drain the soil to avoid water stagnation.