Unlike many of the odd hybrid fruits we see today (ever heard of a Plumcot?), grapes have been around for much longer, potentially as far back as 65 million years! Berries of the Vitaceae family, their first cultivation occurred around 8,000 years ago. There are 60 species and a near 8,000 varietals of grapes found worldwide. We all recognize the lavish portrayal of grape consumption illustrated in Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, and you’d be lying if you said you’d never held a bunch of grapes above your head and slowly fed yourself like a queen.
At the superstore we normally have to choose between “red” or “green” grapes, but this simplification does a horrible disservice to this spectacular fruit! Out of the 8,000 types of grapes, we’re going to extrapolate on the favourite 15.
Table of Contents
- Grapes Nutrition Facts Chart
- 1. Champagne Grapes
- 2. Concord Grapes
- 3. Cotton Candy Grapes
- 4. Crimson Seedless Grapes
- 5. Fry Muscadine Grapes
- 6. Gewürztraminer Grapes
- 7. Kyoho Grapes
- 8. Lemberger Grapes
- 9. Moon Balls
- 10. Moon Drops
- 11. Pinot Noir Grapes
- 12. Riesling Grapes
- 13. Sultana Grapes
- 14. Sweet Jubilee Grapes
- 15. Valiant Grapes
Grapes Nutrition Facts Chart
1. Champagne Grapes
Blooming from June to September, Champagne grapes are some of the smallest grapes grown and they have a taste that is both sweet and tart. The grapes are crunchy and tender and they are small enough to give to kids without worrying about a choking hazard. Ironically, these grapes are not used for making wine or champagne but they are perfect for snacking on and eating raw.
2. Concord Grapes
If you’ve ever tasted a pure grape juice, you’ve likely tasted a Concord grape. The grapes were developed in Concord, Massachusetts in the late 1840s and have a bright, crisp flavor and bluish-purple color. They bloom from August to September and they have large seeds and skin that is very easy to peel. If you love grapes, the Concord is one variety that you’ll definitely wish to sample.
3. Cotton Candy Grapes
Cotton Candy grapes (adorable!) are white in color and taste very similar to cotton candy, hence their name. They can only be grown in central California, the hot climate enables that ridiculously sweet quality. They bloom in mid-August to September. People are surprised at how they taste the same as cotton candy and once you give them a try, you’ll be hooked on them as well.
4. Crimson Seedless Grapes
The simple “red” grape mentioned earlier, is actually a Crimson Seedless. They are incredibly juicy, sweet and they have been around since the late 1980s. With a rather have a firm texture, thick skin, they are usually a pale red color with occasional green streaks in them. They grow in California and can be harvested from August to November so they bloom a little later than many other grapes do.
5. Fry Muscadine Grapes
Fry Muscadine grapes grow only in Georgia and can be harvested in September. They are approximately the size of a cherry tomato and they turn a lovely yellow as they ripen, yet they start out their lives as a golden-brown color. Born in 1970, Muscadine grapes are firm and crispy, resulting in a satisfying pop when bitten.
6. Gewürztraminer Grapes
With a season that extends from July to September these grapes can be found worldwide, coated in a dusty red skin with an almost translucent flesh inside. They can be eaten raw or made into white wine, in which case they turn almost clear in color. Gewürztraminer grapes are remarkably juicy and clean tasting, very similar to the quality of stone fruits.
7. Kyoho Grapes
Kyoho grapes are grown in Japan and are a hybrid variety bred in the 1930s. The deep and luxurious colour of plums, these puppies one of the largest varietals of grape. The thick and bitter skin is usually peeled away, but the effort required to access what’s underneath is well worth it. They bloom from July to August, and they can grow as big as a plum. They can be juiced to pair with your morning coffee, are also perfect for sweetening dull desserts. What a versatile little treat!
8. Lemberger Grapes
Lemberger grapes originated in Germany, but growing practices have extended to various boreal climates. They bloom from August to September, are coated in a stunning sapphire skin with a sweet, slightly spicy flavor — a unique varietal. If you use Lemberger grapes to make wine, you’ll also notice a hint of pepper as well.
9. Moon Balls
Blooming from February to March, Moon Ball (so fun to say) grapes are grown in South Africa and they are large and green. A super high sugar content makes them almost oppressively sweet, and they’re enveloped in a thick and opaque lime green skin. Incredibly juicy and plump, these grapes are just heaving off of their branches.
10. Moon Drops
Moon Drop grapes are a hybrid variety that took roughly 15 years to develop! They are a non-GMO (woohoo!) almost an eggplant purple, and similar in shape. They bloom from late July to late September and they have firm, crunchy flesh. In fact, many people agree that the Moon Drop grape tastes just the same as grape jelly with its sugary but not-too-sweet taste.
11. Pinot Noir Grapes
These grapes are known for their contribution to Champagne sparkling wine production, and they’ve been described as having notes of cherry, caramel, and strawberry. These perfect dark purple orbs bloom from August to September and are paired nicely with cheese.
12. Riesling Grapes
Riesling grapes can grown in many locations, from Germany, to New York, and Canada too. They’re ready for harvest from August to September, and depending on the conditions of the season, as late as the first frost in October. A wonderful harmony of sweetness and acidity, the have unique floral undertones. These characteristics are easily identified in their finished wine product.
13. Sultana Grapes
Maturing from July to September, Sultana grapes are grown in California, Australia, and Turkey. Tiny and oval, these sugary grapes are most popularly used as raisins! When dried, their sweetness intensifies, and that pleasant spring green color grows more autumnal.
14. Sweet Jubilee Grapes
This varietal of hybrid hasn’t been around very long, the first species being bred in 2012! They can grow to be as large and firm as an apple, and it’s fun to slice them similarly. Mid-August to early September is the prime time for consumption, and they’re grown in central California.
15. Valiant Grapes
Valiant grapes (what a dubious title) grow from late August to September, and they earn their name due to the fact that they persevere through harsh conditions. Prospering through cold climates and less than fertile soil, they’re perfect for juicing and jams. Super high sugar content and a midnight blue skinned grapes can be found in Canada and Alaska — rather indicative of their quality.
Are grapes good for you?
Short answer, yes! Grapes contain potassium fibre, and tons of other vitamins and minerals. Resveratrol is a chemical found in grapes, which has been observed to combat eye problems, cancer, and cardiovascular disease!
How many grapes should you eat a day?
Eating around 1-2 cups of grapes a day can be very beneficial to your health. The anti-oxidants in grapes help in reducing cell damage by protecting the cells membrane!
Which grapes are the sweetest?
Everybody’s tastebuds are different, but it is a popular opinion that Champagne grapes and Cotton Candy grapes are among the sweetest.
Where did grapes originate?
Tough question! They’ve been around for so long that it’s up to debate. However, most archeologists believe that humans began farming grapes as early as 6500 B.C during the Neolithic era. It’s hard to say exactly where this began, but we know the practices were spread around this time throughout Asia Minor, Transcaucasia, and through the Nile Delta of Egypt.