This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V18", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
There seems to be no other way given whereby the fruit culturist of the Northern States can combat the cold and frosty weather of these northern regions successfully, and produce in perfection the choicest varieties of grapes, except by giving them a good winter protection of some sort. My experience has been that any grape which has any foreign blood in its composition will almost invariably winter-kill, unless protected in some way. And although so much has been written upon this subject, still a large majority of cultivators in this vicinity still neglect this most essential element in grape culture. A neighbor being unable to cover his vines as usual last autumn, found when spring opened that his Iona, Allen and Rogers Hybrids, Delawares and Eumelans were killed to the ground; while his Concords, Hartfords, and Northern Muscadines lived, but were late in starting. This plainly shows that those vines which are hybrids or contain in some manner foreign blood are more tender than those of native origin.
Another neighbor interested enough in grape culture to plant several varieties, but believing that vines are capable of taking care of themselves, declares he will not protect his vines in the winter; result of this resolution - neighbor A. never eats the choicest varieties of grapes unless he purchases them or has them given him by some more careful neighbor. I know that fine grapes can be raised north of the 43d parallel of latitude; that you have only to use the materials within the reach of all to make it quite successful. In my own grapery I have succeeded by giving my vines an annual pruning, not always following the directions of the "books," but sometimes pruning close and at other times on the renewal system, adapting the pruning to the condition of the vine, manuring moderately with wood ashes or well rotted manure, and by giving the vines in autumn a covering of leaves, potato tops or what is just as good, the soil around the vines. In this manner grapes can be raised at the North where Indian corn can be ripened.