Grapevine

Vitis vinifera
Vitaceae, Grape Family
wine grape detail at Hunter Farms
wine grape detail at Hunter Farms
Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you
Genesis 49:22-25 NIV
wine grape detail at Hunter Farms
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:1, 2, 5 NIV

Cultural Information

TypeEdible Vine
Heightvines trail unpruned 70 to 100 feet!
Soilwell-drained, neutral or slightly acidic
Exposurefull sun
Leavesdeciduous, broad-leaved, lobed in three main parts, vibrant green; some tendrils present
Flowerssmall, blooming in narrow panicles, modest, pale yellowish-green
Fruitplump, berry-like spherical fruits grow in clusters, colors range from pale green to deep purplish-red; many cultivars available

Planting Tips

  • vines are hardy to Zone 6; choose a site with good air circulation
  • V. vinifera is mainly a wine grape most suitable to sunny, non-rainy summers
  • wine grapes are smaller with a concentrated flavor; table grapes are larger with a more watery flesh
  • plant vines with sturdy trellis support in place, approximately 8 feet on center
  • rows should be 8 feet apart or wide enough for farm equipment clearances
  • best to provide drip irrigation; moisture on leaves and fruit must be kept to a minimum
  • prepare to prune!! quality fruit bearing comes only through dedicated pruning

Garden to Table

  • grapevines come to the table as fresh fruit, raisins, grape juice, wine, vinegar, and grapeseed oil
  • grape leaves are edible as well – wrap meats or fish in leaves for grilling or try a classic dish of stuffed grape leaves
  • for a fruitful table decoration, pile clusters of grapes on a cake plate, garnish with garden herbs, and add votive candles
  • grapes are well-loved in fruit salad or chicken salad, but try them as a contrasting sweetness in savory rice, quinoa, or other grain dishes
  • wine – there is not enough room here to launch into tips on winemaking! see our resources for wine industry links

Additional Resources

See Blog Posts on Grapevine
The grapevine pictures the establishing of a household’s prosperity, its nourishment, blessing and forgiveness intertwined throughout the Old Testament. Its particular characteristics of vivacity and need for pruning are vital in understanding God’s ways.
-from the NIV God's Word for Gardeners Bible
wine grape detail at Hunter Farms
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful… I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
John 15:1, 2, 5 NIV

Photo Credits

© 2015 Shelley S. Cramm Grapes growing in Sonoma, CA, suspended from their vines
© 2015 Shelley S. Cramm View down the vineyard towards flowering oleander
© 2015 Shelley S. Cramm Dormant grapevines and early spring almond blossoms near Delano, CA
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