Origin and provenance of the strawberry grape
The word grape strawberry refers to a group of table grapes that all come from the 'vitis labrusca' species. The latter is a climbing variety of the 'vitaceae' family from the eastern regions of the United States. This variety is also known as 'Isabella grape' or 'American grape' and was first used in the 19th century to counter the phylloxera epidemic that threatened to extinguish wine grape species. The vine of this variety was in fact immune from the infesting insect 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 - Detail of the bunches of black strawberry grapes">Strawberry grape plant texture
The vine of this variety is a vigorous plant composed of sturdy 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 large, covered with a light down and are of an intense green color. Flowering usually occurs in May but being rather modest it often goes unnoticed. The clusters 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 table fruit. By law it is not possible to make wine to be put on the market as strawberry grapes contain 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 berries. Another very tasty type is the so-called 'strawberry', a kind of black grape that appeared in Italy in the mid-nineteenth century. The flavor is very sweet and is usually harvested in early October. The 'white strawberry' instead has smaller and slightly more acidic berries than the other varieties. Very interesting is 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 ripens in August and is much sweeter and more fragrant than the other types.
Strawberry Grapes: How to Grow Strawberry Grapes
As for 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 precautions. It can be planted in pots or in the garden but in both cases it needs support to allow vertical growth. 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 therefore be periodically fertilized with peat or manure. Furthermore, it will not be necessary to water the plant constantly but it will be necessary to pay attention to the drainage of the soil to avoid water stagnation.