Grapes have a reputation for being demanding and labor intensive. Picking the right vine for your location can make all the difference. Here are a few that do well in cold climates and can be purchased in bare root form right now. Some will produce grapes the first year they are planted:
Valiant (Vitis labrusca ‘Valiant’)
May produce the first year after planting. Has a deep, tangy flavor similar to a Concord, ripening late August – mid September.
King of the North (Vitis labrusca X V.riparia.)
Winer hardy to -40F. ripens early. Great seeded table grape for cold climates, and makes an excellent juice as well. Full flavored, very tart until completely ripened. Great for making jelly.
Marquette (hybrid of V. riparia, V. vinifera, and other Vitis species)
A red medium-bodied table wine variety that can withstand temperatures as low as -36. Also good for juices and jellies, this blue-black grape with light pink pulp has smaller clusters that ripen in late August – September. Has an open and tidy growth habit which provides nice sun exposure to the fruit.