Swenson Red Grapes
Swenson Red (Minnesota #78 x Seibel 11803). The first grape released from Elmer Swenson's grape breeding work and my personal favorite. The unique, fruity flavor of this firm, meaty grape is like no other. Only grapes with muscat flavor usually tie it in tastings. While it is generally red, it may have blue in the color where nights are cool, and it can even be green in color when grown where nights are hot. The sugar goes over 21oB, and some winemakers have produced a good white or rose wine with it. The vine may have rather low vigor in its early years, but it increases in vigor and productivity as it becomes well established. On some of the clusters, flowers in the center section may fail to set, making the mature cluster dumbbell-shaped. Heavy dew or fog may interfere with set. Training the cordons high, at least 4 to 5 feet above the ground, helps keep the flower clusters out of the cool, most air near the ground that interferes with set. Hardy to -30oF. Few major disease problems, except that it is susceptible to downy mildew.