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Prevention through variety selection

Grapevine diseases are a sad topic, but with a sunny location as well as proper training and pruning it is possible to prevent almost any problem. The most important factor is the choice of the variety! The crucial question is in which league you want to play: bottom, middle, high or top?

Bottom league: grapeless vines

It may be an unsportsmanlike practice, but the very best precaution against problems with vines is to use grape-free varieties. These grapevine varieties burst with health and will only develop leaves without any fruits. None of the listed diseases and problems really concern them. Location, training and pruning etc. are not deciding factors for these plants that grow like weeds and are almost indestructible.

Grape-free variety from FassadenGrün
Grape-free variety from FassadenGrün

Middle league: american grapevine varieties

Many North American Vitis species have large berries and are also resistant to mildew and other fungal diseases - that is is why in recent decades "American vines" such as "Buffalo", "Isabella" and "Boskoops Glorie" have been used more and more. They descend from the almost indestructible fox vine "Vitis labrusca", which takes its name from the foxy taste of the fruit. These varieties all taste a little strange and unusually sharp. "Strawberry aroma" is a cute paraphrase, "Swamp Plum" and "Skunk Grape" as well as Swiss "Chatze Seychler" (Cat-Urin) tell it clearly... The stocks are healthy with large leaves and decorative grapes, but the taste needs getting used to. For jam and jellies the grapes are great though. are but often good to use. Location, training and pruning are less crucial here if at all, and the plants can also be planted in partial shade.

American vine near a flower shop
American vine

Upper league: moderne grapevine varieties

Modern grapevine varieties try to combine the advantages of European and American vines: good taste and health. The resulting table grapes possess the mild, harmonious taste that European tongues are accustomed to with only the tiniest note of the "foxy" tone, the so-called "muscat flavour". The resistance to disease is better as in European varieties and not quite as good as in pure American varieties. The two table grapes recommended by FassadenGrün (available in our shop) belong to this group. They can be grown on a house wall, without need for regular chemical treatments...

Location, training and pruning are important for these "upper league" varieties - without adequate care, thes grapevines won't thrive, and then only in a sunny location such as a south-east or west-facing wall. Partially shaded location must be avoided.

Grape variety "Muscat Birstaler"
"Muscat Birstaler"

Top league: historical European varieties

Good training, pruning and location are of crucial importance.

Fine aroma: old variety "Chasselas" and the blue "Dornfelder"
Chasselas and Dornfelder