Grape Cultivars for North-Central New Mexico

Guide H-309

Frank B. Matta, Assistant Professor of Horticulture
Esteban Herrera, Extension Horticulturist
Darrell Sullivan, Professor of Horticulture

College of Agriculture, Consumer and Environmental Sciences New Mexico State University. (Print Friendly PDF)

This Publication is scheduled to be updated and reissued 3/04.

Grapes are widely grown in home gardens for fruit and landscape purposes or commercially for wine, raisins, or fresh consumption. Grapes, on a commercial scale, are the world's most widely grown deciduous fruit crop. Selection of cultivars adapted to prevailing climatic conditions in a particular area is an important step.


Four types of grapes may be grown in New Mexico.

European Grapes
Vitis vinifera, developed mostly in France, are excellent for wine or table use. These grapes require long, warm, dry summers and moderate winter temperatures. Grow them only in southern New Mexico.

American Grapes
Vitis labrusca are used mainly for juice. These grapes are more cold hardy and more resistant to some disease and insect pests than European grapes. They may show some leaf chlorosis (yellowing).

American Hybrids
These hybrids are produced by crosses between the American and European types. American and American hybrids are better adapted to acid soils; therefore, many tend to suffer from iron deficiency (yellowing of leaves) when grown on alkaline soils.

French Hybrids
Crosses between the European and wild-American grape. Some cultivars produce good wine while others are acceptable as table grapes. Hybrid types, in general, are intermediate in winter hardiness between American and European species.

Most European varieties are not winter hardy. Varieties such as 'Black Monukka', 'Cabernet Sauvignon', 'Emerald Riesling', 'Pinot Chardonnay', 'Thompson Seedless', and 'White Riesling' failed to survive winter conditions or had poor plant vigor in northern New Mexico.

American varieties are usually sensitive to high pH, which is shown by iron deficiency (leaf yellowing). 'Concord' being the most sensitive 'Fredonia', 'Niagara,' and 'Westfield' cultivars have performed better in northern New Mexico.


American and French hybrids appear better adapted to the northern New Mexico climate than European or American species. Following are descriptions of some American and French hybrid cultivars that have performed acceptably in north-central New Mexico.

American Hybrids

'Golden Muscat' A beautiful golden grape that ripens late. The clusters are large and compact with large berries that are juicy and excellent in quality when season and site are favorable. Can be used as a table grape, juice, and jelly.

'Himrod Seedless' A white seedless table grape that produces early and is very good in quality. Clusters are large but rather loose and have berries that are medium in size and oval in shape.

'Seneca' A white table and wine grape. An American-European hybrid with clusters that are small-to-medium and rather loose. Skin is tender with sweet and aromatic flavor.

Suffolk Red Seedless' An early, red, seedless grape with large berries and long, loose clusters. It is a quality grape that can be used for desserts, pies, and jelly.

French Hybrids

'Baco Noir' An extremely vigorous and disease-resistant variety with long clusters of small black berries that are used for red wine. It produces an early, hardy, moderate crop suitable for family vineyards.

'Burdin 4672' An early mid-season, dependable producer used for white wine. Has not been grown in this area as long as some others.

'Couderc 13' A white grape with medium-sized, round berries in cylindrical, compact clusters.

'Couderc 4401' A black grape with small to medium clusters. The small round berry produces intensely red juice.

'De Chaunac' Appears to be one of the best of the French hybrid group for red wine. It is hardy, relatively disease-free, and less susceptible to bird damage than some. Produces blue-black grapes in small, compact clusters.

'Foch' An extra-early, blue-black grape with small, compact clusters used for red wine. It has good wine quality and is especially valuable for short-season areas with rigorous climate.

'Joannes-Seyve 26-205' (Chambourcin) Mid-season variety, of very superior quality, used for red wines. Hardy and relatively disease-free.

'Seibel 1000' (Rosette) An early black grape with clusters and berries that are medium sized and round. It can be used for rose wines.

'Seibel 5279' (Aurora) A white French hybrid that is hardy, vigorous, and productive. The early-ripening fruit is delicious to eat and can also be used for a very good, delicate table wine.

'Seibel 7053' (Chancellor) Widely grown in France, this grape has blue-black berries in medium to large clusters. It produces the highest quality wine.

'Seibel 5898' (Rougeon) A black grape with medium-sized, compact clusters. The vines are hardy, but production is somewhat erratic. Makes a blending wine with good red color.

'Seibel 6339' A blue-black wine grape with small, compact clusters. The berries are small with large seeds. Vines have medium vigor and are winter hardy. The juice is light red. Yields have been above average.

'Seibel 13053' (Cascade) A productive, hardy fruit that is attractive to birds. It is an early, blue grape with medium to large clusters.

'Seyval Blanc' A high-quality, mid-season, white grape that produces a fine white wine. It has medium vigor, has no serious cultural defects and is highly productive and compact.

'Seyval Villard 12-309' A pinkish white grape with very large and loose clusters. Produces a mid-season crop with large bunches of oval fruit that are good for both table and wine.

'Seyve Villard 14287' A true muscat with small berries used for improving bouquet. Disease resistance is moderate. The vine is a weak grower, and fruit-set is irregular.

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Reprinted March 1999
Electronic Distribution March 1999