About half a century ago, winegrowers were convinced that the more stable the variety of a particular grape, the more it loses in quality and taste. Over the past decades, this statement has been constantly refuted by the emergence of unique hybrid varieties that, on the one hand, have excellent taste and other characteristics, on the other hand, are resistant to most typical grape sores.
In addition, it used to be considered simply unrealistic to grow elite table grapes at the latitude of the Moscow region and to the north. Now, about a hundred varieties of grapes have appeared, which are distinguished by a special delicious taste, good yield, and at the same time have increased resistance to difficult climatic conditions. One example is the Harold grape, which is not only able to grow in the climatic conditions of the middle lane, but can also give one of the earliest harvests. Due to such a quick ripening, this grape variety can be grown even in the conditions of Siberia with its short summer.
History of creation and description of the variety
The table hybrid form of Harold grapes was obtained by scientific breeders in the city of Novocherkassk at the Potapenko Institute of Viticulture. The parents are Arcadia, crossed with Delight, and Summer Muscat. The resulting grape variety turned out to be very successful in many respects, therefore it is grown with pleasure not only by professionals, but also by ordinary summer residents and gardeners.
Harold grape bushes are tall, so they need mandatory pruning and shaping. The growth energy is significant and since the variety can be overloaded with the harvest, it is necessary to normalize the inflorescences. About 80% of the shoots can be fruitful. It should be borne in mind that from one to two full-fledged brushes can ripen on one vine.
Attention! For winegrowers in the southern regions, the Harold variety may be interesting because it is able to form stepchildren, which can give a second wave of harvest in the fall.
The vine itself is bright brown in color, flexible and powerful. Leaves are medium in size, heart-shaped. Shoots ripen well over their entire length.
When it comes to ripening, few grapes can rival Harold. After all, the bunches begin to ripen less than 100 days after the beginning of the bud swelling on the vine in the spring. Depending on the region, this can occur from mid-July to early August. And the most attractive property of this grape variety is that the berries can hang on the bushes until mid-September without being damaged by wasps, without crumbling and retaining their original appearance. This is often used by winemakers, picking grapes as late as possible, so that at the time of harvesting it accumulates the maximum possible amount of sugar.
Since the flowers of this variety are bisexual, it does not need pollinating varieties for full fruiting. In the video below, see how early Harold blooms.
The frost resistance of grape bushes is good - they are able to withstand up to -25 ° C, but in most regions of Russia, except for the southernmost ones, they will need to be covered for the winter. It shows good resistance to the main diseases of grapes, to mildew - 3 points, to powdery mildew - 3.5 points. But preventive treatments for diseases will be required in any case.
Description of bunches and berries
In terms of the size of the bunches and berries, the Harold variety does not at all claim to be a champion. Its main advantage is rather the very early maturation of grapes, combined with an attractive taste.
The following are the main characteristics of the berries and bunches of this grape variety:
- Brushes can be either conical or cylindrical; their weight varies from 400 to 700 grams;
- The density of the brushes can be medium or high;
- The grapes are well attached to the stalk, so they do not fall off for a long time;
- The shape of the berries is oval, slightly pointed at the very tip;
- The weight of the berries is small, 5-7 grams, although their size is quite large - 20x24 mm;
- The flesh of the berries is juicy, although not very fleshy;
- The berries contain seeds, one to three;
- The skin is dense, but practically not felt when consumed;
- Ripe berries have a yellow amber hue, they begin to "glow" in the sun;
- Harold grapes have a harmonious taste with a bright nutmeg aroma, which makes it an amazing homemade wine;
- The sugar level is about 20 g per 100 cc. cm, acidity does not exceed 5 grams;
- Thanks to the dense skin, grapes, on the one hand, are not damaged by wasps, on the other hand, they are well stored and easily transported over long distances.
In addition to the above characteristics, it should be noted that the berries are resistant to cracking, and the grape variety itself is not susceptible to peas.
By watching the video below, you can get a complete picture of the bunches and berries of Harold grapes.
Interestingly, Harold grapes can be classified as universal varieties in terms of their use. It is very tasty for fresh consumption, it can make a wonderful juice and compote, but it is also easy to make homemade wine from it, thanks to the sufficient sugar content in the fruits.
Among the disadvantages of the variety, one can note the fact that if the overload of the bushes with the harvest is allowed, then the taste of the grapes sharply deteriorates. Therefore, when growing it, do not forget about the normalization of the inflorescences.
Reviews of gardeners about grapes Harold
Both experienced winegrowers and ordinary summer residents speak warmly about Harold grapes. He bribes many with his undemanding cultivation and, at the same time, the very early dates for obtaining crops.
Oleg, 45 years old, Belgorod
I've heard about this grape variety already a lot of good things from friends, so when the opportunity to purchase it suddenly presented itself, I had no doubts at all. To be honest, I have never come across a grape that ripens so early, and at the same time would still be so tasty and aromatic. In the spring, before flowering, I sprinkled it prophylactically against any sores. True, I do not use chemistry, I used alirin with gamair, and even then, after flowering, I sprinkled it with trichodermine once. I want to say that I was struck by his stamina and immunity to various adversities. True, the summer was sunny, warm - in general, the weather was suitable for the ripening of berries, but all the same, even in autumn, when the rains poured down, the berries were as if they were on the pick - clean, intact. We tried the first crop on July 20, and left some of the brushes hanging until autumn. The nutmeg aroma lasts regardless of the weather and is felt from afar. And also quite large berries for such an early ripening. The bunches, although small, were practically free of defects - they could immediately be taken for sale.
Natalia, 38 years old, Ruzsky district
I already knew from my acquaintances that in our Moscow region you can grow really tasty grapes. But somehow I did not fully believe in it until Harold planted 5 bushes of grapes. Before that, I had already grown several wine varieties, such as Isabella, and this was the first table variety. It took root well, after the winter all the buds were preserved, and the grapes quickly began to grow. In general, I noticed that he was the first to wake up and begin the growing season - it’s even scary for him, he suddenly gets frozen. Until the frost has passed completely, I try not to tie it up and cover it, if anything, with non-woven material. Already in the third year, I decided to leave all the clusters that appeared and at the very beginning of August I tried the first berries. Of course, the grapes were still sour, but the aroma was already present. And by September we were already enjoying the luxurious clusters of real southern grapes. By the way, I cover it for the winter like roses - just spruce branches and synthetic burlap, and so far everything is fine - it is not frozen out. I really liked this grape variety, and now I will look for other varieties suitable for the Moscow region for the collection.
Grapes are already boldly grown not only in the middle lane, but also to the north - in the Pskov and Leningrad regions, it has reached the Siberian region. And all this thanks to the enthusiasm, on the one hand, of breeders, and on the other hand, gardeners who do not want to stand still, but dream of adding variety to the range of plants grown on their site.