Grapes "Alpha" belongs to the North American grades. It was obtained by crossing the Labrusca vine and the Riparia vine. The variety belongs to the category of technical and is characterized by an average ripening period.
Grapes of the Alpha variety ripen within 140-150 days. When cultivating varieties in the conditions of the Siberian region, the ripening period is mid-late. For most winegrowers, the variety is known as a quality landscaper, zoned in the territory of the Primorsky Territory.
The Alpha variety is one of the most common in northern viticulture. The birthplace of the variety is considered to be America, Minnesota. The vine was brought to Odessa to study varieties harvested in the United States. Almost 70 years ago, grape cuttings "Alpha" came along with many other varieties in the Brest region, in a state farm called "Vinogradar". After 15 years, the variety was managed to be zoned in the southern garden zone of the BSSR.
Bushes are characterized by stable strong growth. The rates of shoot ripening are high. Productivity can vary from 140 to 180 kg / ha. The leaves are large, three-lobed, with a weak dissection and long, quite sharp teeth.
Petiole recesses on leaves open, deep, vaulted. Pubescence on the lower surface of the leaf is weak and bristly, more intense in the venation area. Bisexual flowers. The clusters are medium in size, cylindrical or cylindrical, with average density.
Ripe berries can be used both fresh and for processing. Gardeners should remember that the taste indicators of grapes “Alpha” are very mediocre, without the characteristic of most marketable varieties of sophistication.
The berries are formed of medium size, rounded, almost black in color, with a reddish-brown or purple hue. Ripe berries have a characteristic coating with rich waxy coating. Ripe pulp has a pronounced mucous membrane and an unusual strawberry flavor. The downside is the high acidity of the pulp, which can reach very impressive rates.
Advantages and disadvantages
Grapes "Alpha" has both advantages and disadvantages that should be considered when cultivating:
- planting grapes of this variety are largely thickened by stepsons, which must be removed at least twice during the summer period;
- frost resistance indicators are quite high;
- the variety is slightly affected by major fungal diseases.
The standard yield, which can be expected by growing a variety on a personal plot, is about 10 kilograms of berries from each grape bush.
Grapes "Alpha": characteristic
Features of planting and agricultural technology
Planting grape seedlings of this variety can be carried out not only in the spring, but also in the autumn period, due to the good winter hardiness of the Alpha grapes, as well as its relatively high survival rate.
When growing, special attention should be paid to the following aspects of agricultural technology:
- a place for planting seedlings should be well protected from the prevailing winds, as well as maximally lit throughout the day;
- the variety is demanding for pruning, which must be performed on 8-10 eyes;
- cuttings are characterized by a fairly good rooting indicator, their ability to grow together with different types of scions is relatively highly evaluated;
- high frost resistance allows mature shoots to withstand temperature drops of -45 degrees;
- the root system of a healthy and strong plant of this variety, without visible damage, can tolerate a decrease in soil temperature to -12 degrees;
- grapes of this variety are favorably resistant to fungal infections, but are easily damaged by a disease such as chlorosis, which is especially pronounced when cultivated in areas with sandy soil, as well as in the presence of malnutrition or insufficient watering.
The main feature of grape care "Alpha" is the need for periodic introduction of iron salts into the soil in the form of iron sulfate, which has a beneficial effect on the growth and development of the plant, and also significantly reduces the risk of chlorosis.
Oddly enough, but the opinions of winegrowers differ very much in the assessment of the variety. A significant part of gardeners considers Alpha blue grapes unworthy of attention and describes it as insufficiently frost-resistant, freezing in too cold winters at soil level, forming medium-sized berries with an unpleasant sour taste.
Some winegrowers are more supportive of this variety., but it is recommended that when planting pay special attention to the composition of the soil, which should be enriched with humus with sand, and it is imperative to provide high-quality drainage at the bottom of the landing hole. In any case, before you cultivate the grapes of this variety, you should decide on the ability to provide the plant with proper care.
We also offer you to learn about the varietal characteristics of the “Brilliant” grapes.
The Alpha grape variety is in great demand as a natural landscaper for decoration of arbors, facades of buildings and structures, as well as balconies and loggias. Very often experienced growers give preference to this particular variety, using it as a stock for growing weak and frost-resistant grape varieties.
Technologies of Northern Viticulture
Despite controversial opinions about Alpha grapes, it has clear recognized benefits. It is worth noting the unpretentiousness and winter hardiness of the variety, which, along with a low level of disease damage and stable yield, make Alpha grapes the best option for cultivation by beginner winegrowers.