Grape vines are flowering plants that belong to the genus Vitis and the plant family Vitaceae. Most grape vine species originate from the Northern Hemisphere. Grape vines produce edible fruits used for culinary purposes and wine making. Wild animals and birds rely on grape vines as a food source and help scatter the seeds of the vine. Numerous types of grape vines grow both domestically and wild throughout temperate regions across the world.
European Red Wine Grapes
Cabernet sauvignon (Vitis vinifera) is a species of grape that originates from the Mediterranean, Central Europe and southwestern Asia; however, this established grape vine grows throughout the world. This cold hardy vine has a vigorous growth rate and reaches lengths of 98 feet. The fruit of cabernet sauvignon ripens in late October and has a dark purple to blackish hue. Merlot (Vitis vinifera) is a variety of grape that comes from a fast growing vine. This loosely clustered fruit has a thin skin and high sugar content. Growers harvest merlot grapes during the beginning of October.
American Table Grapes
Steuben (Vitis labrusca) is a cultivar of Concord grape with a robust growth pattern. This grape vine is a heavy producer of bluish-black grapes with a sweet flavour. Steuben grapes mature in August and are a table grape for home use. Concord (Vitis labrusca) is the most commonly grown grape east of the Rocky Mountains, according to University of Minnesota. This hardy highly productive grape vine is an easily trained plant with a rapid growth. Concord grapes are bluish-black fruit that ripen in September for fresh consumption as jellies, juice and table grapes.
Summer Grape (Vitis aestivalis) is a quick growing wild grape vine that reaches lengths of 30 feet. This grape is an indigenous plant to the eastern area of the United States and the official state grape of Missouri. The berries are dark purple to black in tone. Riverbank Grape (Vitis riparia) is a vigorously developing wild grape vine native to the United States and Canada. This cold hardy vine flourishes with small white to green hued fragrant flowers during spring. The bark of the riverbank grape consists of a brownish-grey colour and shreds easily.
Crimson glory vine (Vitis coignetiae) is a native grape vine to Asia in regions of Russia, Japan and Korea. This deciduous vine has an energetic growth with a climbing form supported by tendrils. The foliage is a deep green hue that changes during the autumn to a scarlet or crimson red tone. Crimson glory vine bears small black grapes not recommended for consumption. Brant (Vitis "Brant") is a hardy deciduous grape vine that grows to lengths of 23 feet with June through July flowers. During fall, the leaves turn crimson, orange and pink in a showy display. The small sweet tasting fruit of the brent grape vine has a green tint in the summer and changes to black in the fall.