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Species: Vitis labrusca x Vitis riparia x Vitis vinifera, and small amounts of other species of different Vitis from North America
History: Bred by Elmer Swenson in Wisconsin, Somerset is one of numerous varieties he created for growing in our cooler North American climates. This cultivar has become increasingly popular in recent years and has good potential for commercial growing. The variety was released in 2002.
Why We Grow It: One of the hardiest, highest quality seedless grape varieties out there, this is an excellent table grape: sweet, spicy, with strong notes of strawberry. The grapes have beautiful pink flushed skin and are most decadent if allowed to sit on a sunny window sill for a week or so after harvest. Although the fruit is on the smaller to medium end of the scale, the vines produce large, heavy clusters that more than compensate for the size of the individual grapes. The grapes have a firm texture with some crunch.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 3b
Soil Preference: Loam is best, but is tolerant of different soils as long as they are well-drained.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Vine, moderately vigorous, produces heavy crops, cold hardy. Generally disease resistant.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination: Self-pollinating, this variety will produce fruit without a different grape variety but will produce more and better fruit if one is present.
Ripens: Mid September
Seeds: Yes but very tiny and soft, technically considered seedless
Storage: Keeps up to two weeks when stored in the fridge
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, juice, jelly
Height Above Soil Line: 30-50cm