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Varieties of Grapes

There are three classifications of grapes: table grapes, wine grapes, and raisin grapes. Table grapes, as their name suggests, are those that we enjoy raw in our favorite salads or desserts while wine grapes are used in viniculture to produce wine and raisin grapes are used for the dried fruit.

While there are thousands of varieties of grapes only about 20 constitute the majority of table grapes consumed; they differ in color (green, amber, red, blue-black and purple), size, taste and other physical characteristics.

There are three main species of grapes:

European grapes: (Vitis vinifera). Varieties include Thompson (seedless and amber-green in color), Emperor (seeded and purple in color) and Champagne Black Corinth (tiny in size and purple in color). European varieties feature skins that adhere closely to their flesh.

North American grapes: (Vitis labrusca and Vitis rotundifolia). Varieties include Concord (blue-black in color and large in size), Delaware (pink-red in color with a tender skin) and Niagara (amber colored and less sweet than other varieties). A characteristic feature of North American varieties is that their skins slip easily away from the flesh.

French hybrids: Varieties that were developed from the vinifera grapes after the majority of these grape varietals were destroyed in Europe in the 19th century.

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This page was updated on: 2004-08-26 22:12:58

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