Tag Archive for: spur-prune


Marselan is a red wine grape (Vitis vinifera L.) variety from France that was selected from a planned cross, in 1961, of Cabernet Sauvignon and Garnacha. It was initially neglected because its traits didn’t meet the needs of the industry at the time, but viticulturists came to appreciate its disease resistance and fruit quality, leading to its official release in 1990. Since then, its reputation has only improved, and recent a trial in the San Joaquin Valley of California bolstered its growing reputation for producing high quality red wine grapes in warm and hot climate regions.

Bonarda FPS 02

This article describes a selection of Bonarda (FPS 02), a red wine variety available from Foundation Plant Services, at the University of California Davis. A planting at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center, in Parlier, California, a hot-climate region, produced low to moderate yields of fruit from which excellent quality red wines were consistently produced.

Figure 1. Fruit clusters of MidSouth in the vineyard, McNeill, Mississippi.


MidSouth is a red grape that was bred in Mississippi. While it has been used to make wine, it is more often used for products like juice, jelly, or jam. The potential exists for wine production, but it may have best utility as a blending grape. It was released in the early 1980s along with two other grape cultivars, Miss Blanc and Miss Blue. It is currently being grown in Mississippi and Texas, but only on a limited scale. In Mississippi the vine is moderately vigorous and productive. It is well adapted to the heat and humidity of the Gulf Coast area. The wine has some susceptibility to anthracnose, black rot, and other fungal diseases, but appears to be highly resistant to Pierce’s disease. MidSouth is highly susceptible to root knot nematodes.


Fiano, an ancient variety from Campania, in southern Italy, “may well be Italy’s greatest native white grape” (D’Agata, 2014). It is versatile and fit for a variety of wine styles, “from light to full-bodied, dry to sweet, easygoing to very ageworth” (D’Agata, 2014). Fiano’s origin in southern Italy, and its reputation for producing high quality fruit and wine, contributed to its selection for a warm-climate wine grape variety trial at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center, in Parlier, California, which has a hot (Winkler region V) climate. In Parlier, Fiano produced moderate yields of fruit from which excellent quality white wines were consistently produced. Desirable traits included good acidity, and excellent flavor. Currently (2021) there are four selections available at Foundation Plant Services, although two of the four were selected from the same vineyard in Hopland, CA. The selection tested in the San Joaquin Valley was FPS 03.

Figure 2 Sunpreme cluster


Sunpreme is a white seedless raisin grape bred by David Ramming, USDA-ARS. It is the first raisin variety to spontaneously dry-on-vine, without cutting canes or otherwise separating the fruit from the vine. It has fruitful basal nodes and may be spur-pruned. The combination of spontaneous drying and fruitful basal nodes should make it possible to harvest and prune Sunpreme with machines, a degree of mechanization that is not possible with other raisin varieties. However, Sunpreme is also prone to preharvest fruit drop caused by the abscission of cluster branches. Compared to other Thompson-type raisin grapes, Sunpreme has larger, rounder, berries, and heavier raisins that are lighter in color. Sunpreme grapes and raisins also have a pleasant, mild, Muscat flavor.