It is not easy to select any one variety adapted to all parts of the Union. Such dessert varieties as Concord, Worden, Moore's Early, and Cottage as yet are the cosmopolitan varieties starred or double starred by the American Horticultural Society in nearly all the States of the Union. But different parts of the United States present such varied soil and air conditions that about all the highest developed varieties of the world find with us congenial conditions. In California such exquisite table grapes as the Flame, Tokay, Emperor, Black Hamburg, Chasselas, Verdal, and Thompson's seedling are grown to perfection, and in the hot, dry valley at Fresno, and in the Salt River valley of Arizona, such raisin grapes as White Muscat, Sultana, Thompson's seedling and other choice varieties are grown in immense quantity. The importance of the raisin interests can be estimated by the fact that 103,000,000 pounds of raisins were produced in 1894. It is also suggestive that one thousand car-loads of table grapes have reached the Eastern States from the west coast in a single year. The wine-grape interest has also been developed on the west coast to an extent not reached at any other point in America. In the South the highly developed varieties of the vinifera type grown on the west coast are not a success, and the development of the native species by Munson and others is in the experimental stage. As yet the varieties grown for the Northern market for dessert use are such as Concord, Worden, Moore's Early, Ives, Moore's Diamond, Delaware, Niagara, Lindley, and a few others. The dessert variety that finds most favor in the North as put up by Southern growers is the Delaware.
But farther south a new era is dawning in dessert-grape culture. Some of the hybrids produced by crossing the best European varieties with the best Southern native species have been tested, such as Brilliant, Gold Coin, Muench, Superb, and Eden. When some of the best of these recently developed varieties become commercial, they will be favorites in the Northern markets, as they have the tender, juicy, sprightly texture peculiar to the Delaware, qualities rarely found in the vinifera varieties of the west coast.
In the North it may he said that any neighborhood where dent, or even the eight-rowed flint, corn can be ripened, will permit the ripening of some of our American grapes. As yet commercial grape growing is confined to the near vicinity of our lakes and the bluff soils of our large rivers. East of Lake Erie, in New York, over 25,000 acres are now planted in what is known as the Chautauqua belt. In this belt, and in Ohio, Concord, Worden, Moore's Early, Niagara, and Catawba are mainly grown and shipped in baskets over a large part of the Northern States east of the Rocky Mountains. Other grape-growing centres are south of Lake Erie, in Ohio, at Ontario, Michigan, and on the Mississippi bluffs in Missouri. In these centres the recent tendency has been in the direction of growing improved varieties of better quality than Concord. In the newer plantations on Lake Erie, and south, Catawba, Moore's Early, Moore's Diamond, Brighton, Worden, Cottage, and Niagara are now planted mingled with the Roger hybrids.
Dealers and consumers are now demanding varieties comparing favorably in quality with Brighton, Isabella, and Delaware. The wine interests on the Missouri bluffs and in the Lake Erie region are also seeking for better varieties for pressing.
The newer plantings at this time are largely of such varieties as Delaware, Norton's Virginia, and Cynthiana, for wine-making and the bottling of the unfermented juice.