The varieties of Grapes
There are countless varieties of grapes, produced both for the processing (wines, syrups, juice, alcoholic drinks) and for the fresh consumption: traditionally, at least regarding the trade of table grapes, we can opt for red or white grape. However, as well as the physical characteristics of grapes, also the organoleptic qualities and the chemical characteristics deeply vary from a variety to another.
It is certain that the production of grapes, the trade of grapes, the wholesale of grapes, the import of grapes, the export of grapes and its processing, the production of organic grapes and of seedless grapes grapes are increasingly growing sectors inside the world fruit and vegetable market and in the world farming economy.
All the seedless grapes traded for fresh consumption, belong to the group of stenospermocarpic grapes; the section of their berries have, in different shapes, rudiments of aborted grapeseeds.
Regarding the presence of seeds, in vine growing, three types of berries with different characteristics can be identified:
Seeded grapes - In these grapes, according to the biological process there is the pollination of the flower and the following fecundation, two important biological events for the fruit set and the forming of berries with one or more seeds. In this group there are many varieties of grapes such as: Italia, Victoria, Regina, Red Globe, etc..
Stenospermocarpic grapes (defined Sultanine type) – In this grapes, the physiological process involves the pollination of the flower, the fecundation and the following abortion of the seed. The acinus stops early the development and the berry remains small. The short survival period of the small seed during the growing phase is enough to set the berry and to produce stimulating hormones of growth (cytokinins, gibberrelins). When the embryo dies stops also the action of the hormones and for this reason the berry's development is limited. Abortet seeds (grapeseeds) atrophy and only small rudiment of different thickness, from herbaceous to semi-ligneous, remain.
To this group belong the traded seedless varieties: Early Red, Early Gold, Regal, Sugraone, Perlon, Centennial, Thompson, Crimson, etc. However, the traded seedless varieties are not completely without seeds, and therefore they should be defined "grapes with non-visible seed”: this aspect can be seen also in other fruits, for example in some new varieties of “seedless” watermelon there are atrophied seed that are whitish.
Parthenocarpic grapes (defined as Corinto type) – in these grapes the pollination is not followed by fecundation. The fruit set and the development of the acinus are determined only by the stimulating action of hormones caused by pollination that leads cell of the ovary to divide and multiply. In this grapes, fecundation does not happen and therefore, berries do not develop very much (they are very small, smaller than stenospermocarpic grapes), round shape, perfect seedlessness and complete lack of grapeseeds. Nowadays there is not any trading interest.
Among the countless varieties of table grapes, the most prestigious are:
- CARDINAL: obtained in 1939 in the Fresno State Horticulture Nursery, in California, the Cardinal variety is considered to be one of the best varieties of early grape, even though it has low resistance to handling and transports. It keeps not well also on the plant, and for this reason, once the Cardinal variety gets to an optimal ripening level, it should be immediately harvested. Clusters are red-violet, quite large, elongated and beautiful with a quite thick, pruinose skin and a slightly crisp flesh, with a nicely sweet flavour. It is available on the fruit and vegetable market from July to September.
- DAWN SEEDLESS: Seedless table grape vine, obtained in Davis, California by Prof. H. P. Olmo by crossbreeding Gold with Perlette. It has a good production level and is of good quality, above all for the flesh, which is crisp and for the yellow skin. The acinus is medium (3/4 g.) and ellipsoidal. The cluster is quite big, shouldered cylindrical, semi-dense, weighing on average around 700 gr. It ripes at the end of July-beginning of August.
- DIAMANTE: Seeded grape vine, obtained in Argentina by Dr. A. Gargiulo. It is very interesting for its earliness and for the shape of the cluster and the berry's taste. This variety of grapes ripes in the last decade of August. The acinus, which weighs about 10/12 gr., is ovoid, with thick or almost thick, yellow and pruinose skin. The cluster is big, weighing on average about 700 gr., short-conical, sometimes winged with one wing, quite sparse. The flesh is crisp and juicy with a neutral flavour and a great resistance to smashing.
- EMPERATRIZ: Cultivar obtained by Dr. A. Gargiulo (Argentina) by crossbreeding the Emperor variety with the Sultanine variety. The cluster is large or very large, conical-shouldered, semi-sparse, often winged. The acinus id medium, ovoid, with a pruinose, pink skin; the pulp is fleshy with a typical flavour. Seedlees or with few rudiments of seeds, the grape produced is suitable both for fresh consumption as well as for the processing industry. It ripes quite late (beginning of September).
- ITALIA: It was obtained by Prof. Pirovano by crossbreeding Bicane with Muscat of Amburgo. It is one of the most appreciated table grapes for the beauty of its clusters, large and not too much sparse. It is a very vigorous and fertile cultivar, with a large, conical-shoulderd and winged cluster with one or two wings, weighing on average 600/800 gr. And being one of the most heavy varieties. Berries, in which there are 2 or 3 seeds are ovoid, with a gold-yellow, pruinose, thick skin and can weigh up to 12/15 gr or more if thinning is made. The flesh is crisp, with a delicate and platable muscat flavour; the qualitative characteristics are: sugars 14-15%, total acidity 4.5 x1000, pH 3.45- It keeps well during transports and processing. It ripes during the second-third decade of August; if cultivated in greenhouses, it ripes earlier, at the end of July.
- MATILDE: Vine obtained by P. Mauro by crossbreeding Italia with Cardinal. The cluster is large, cylindrical conical or shouldered, quite sparse, with an average weight of 500/600 gr. The berry (with 2 seeds) id medium-large, weighing about 7/8 gr., ovoid, with a yellow pruinose skin; the flesh is crisp, with a palatable flavour. It is quite vigorous, very fertile and good for its earliness and of the appearance of the cluster.
- MELISSA:It is a variety of seedless grapes, obtained in California by D. Ramming and R. Tarallo, patented with the name Melissa and later renamed Princess seedless. It is a variety with cylindrical, light green berries with a slight flavour of muscat. It ripes at the same time of the variety Thompson. Since a few years, it has been cultivated in Italy as an experiment in some wine making companies of Puglia. It is a variety of white table grape, very productive, characterized by its beauty, the size of its berries and the great storage capacity in the refrigerator and on the plant. It is available on the market starting from the end of August. The cluster is medium-large, conical and not too much dense. Berries are large, cylindrical-ellipsoidal, the flesh is crisp with a palatable flesh and a yellow-green skin.
- MICHELE PALIERI:: Interesting vine for the appearance of the cluster an for its earliness. It was obtained by M. Palieri in Velletri (Rome) by crossbreeding Alphonse Lavallée x Red Malaga. Te cluster is medium-large, cylindrical shouldered winged and sparse, with and average weight of 500/600 gr. The berry, with 1 or 2 seeds, is medium (about 7/8 gr.), ovoid, with a quite thick, pruinose, violet-black skin. The flesh is crisp, sweet and with a neutral flavour. It ripes in the first decade of September of even earlier if cultivated in greenhouses.
- PASIGA:: It is one of the most interesting seedless table grapes for the fresh consumption. Obtained by Dr. A. Gargiulo (Argentina) by crossbreeding Alphonse Lavallée with Sultanine. the cluster is medium-large, conical shouldered, winged, sparse, with an average weight of about 500 gr. The quality is good: in fact, together with a good size of the blue-black berry, the acinus, is of about 4 gr, it has a crisp and nicely sweet flesh. It ripes in the second decade of August.
- PERLON:Obtained by Dr. A. Gargiulo in Argentina by crossbreeding Emperor with Perlette. The seedless table grape vine is suitable both for the fresh consumption and for the industrial processing. The cluster is short conical, semi-dense, weighing about 600/700 gr. The berry is medium (around 5 gr.), ovoid, with a violet pruinose skin; the flesh is crisp with slightly visible seeds, its taste is neutral slightly acid. It ripes at the beginning of September. It is one of the most promising seedless grapevine.
- PIZZUTELLO BIANCA: very sweet variety of table grape, with a very elongated acinus tha keeps very well on the plant and has very good qualities. This particular variety of grape is definitely good also for its capacity to keep and the resistance during transports and it is available starting from the end of August, until late November. The cluster is medium-large, cylindirica-conical or shouldered, winged and sometimes sparse, weighing about 300-400 gr. Berries are medium-large, elongated, crescent and pear-shaped, with a gree-yellow or glod-yellow, slightly pruinose skin, quite thin but resistant; the flesh is crisp, with a simple flavour, sweet and very palatable.
- RED GLOBE: Obtained in Davis, California, by Prof. H.P. Olmo, it is a seeded table grape vine very interesting for the late ripening period (third decade of September), but above all for its capacity to keep during transports, storage in refrigerators and trading. The cluster, large, weighing on average about 600/700 gr, is culindircal shouldered, winged with one or two wings, semi-dense- the acinus is large, almost spherical, with a red-bluish pruinose and not very thick skin. The flesh is crisp with a neutral flavour, with medium qualities.
- REGINA BIANCA: It comes from the East, probably from Syria and is, among the seeded table grapes, the most widespread vine. There are many synonyms, such as: Mennavacca, Regina di Firenze, Dattier di Beyrouth, Rosaki, Bolgar, etc. The cluster is large, cylindrical shouldered, sparse, winged with one or two wings, weighing on average about 400/500 gr. The acinus is medium-large, ellipsoidal elongated, with a yellow, pruinose, quite thick skin; the flesh is crisp with a neutral flavour. It ripes in the second or third decade of September.
- QUEEN OF VINEYARDS: seeded table grape vine obtained by crossbreeding “Regina Elisabetta” with Pearl of Csaba”. The cluster, medium or medium-large, is cylindrical conical, winged and semi-dense, with an average weight of about 400/500 gr. The berry, weighing about 6/7 gr. Is round with a quite thick, gold-yellow skin; the flesh, quite crisp, is sweet with a slight flavour of Muscat. This cultivar is appreciated for its earliness. It ripes, if cultivates in greenhouses, between the end of June and the beginning of July.
- VITROBLACK 1:Obtained in 1994 by “Vitroplant”. It is a variety of black seedless grape, very productive and very early. When it is completely ripe it is black with great organoleptic characteristics and a good sugary flavour.
- VICTORIA: obtained at the Dragasani Institute (Romania) by crossbreeding Cardinal with Afuz Alì, it spread firtly in Greece and later in Italy. The cluster is medium-large, weighing 600/700 gr, sometimes winged with one wing, semi-sparse. The acinus is medium-large, ellipsoidal or elongated with a weight of 7/8 gr: the skin is yellow, quite thick and pruinose, the flesh is crisp, with a neutral flavour. It contains: sugars 15%, has a pH of 3.40 and a total acidity of 5.50x1000. It is a seeded table grape vine, very appreciated by consumers also for the ripening period: the end of July, advanced at the beginning or mid-July, if cultivate in greenhouses.