Corinth Grape (Vitis vinifera): On the No Grow List

I sooo wanted this one to work.  I was enchanted by the tasty little grapes and was equally excited that they were Greek in origin.  But alas, it turned out to not live up to our expectations.

Here you can see the Corinth vines reaching over several other plants, from over 15 feet away!

These grapes have a variety of other monikers, including Champagne grapes (even though they aren’t used for making champagne), black currants (though they aren’t related to actual currants), Zante currants, and Corinthian raisins.  The Zante name apparently is a distorted version of Zakinthos, which is the Greek island most noted for their production.  The currant name is also a distorted version of Corinth, again another Greek origin name.

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The vine we planted grew rapidly and aggressively.  This is normal, but we were unaware that this was one of its characteristics.  It would dominate and smother everything in its path.  In the pictures what you can’t really tell is that there are three other grape vines that are being completely covered by the Corinth vine.

The three other grape vines already dropped their leaves for the fall, but the Corinth is still going.  You can now clearly see how aggressive this variety is, and this was after pruning it back a couple of times during the growing season hoping to give the other vines a chance!

Corinth’s aggressive growth was not just a problem for the other vines, but it also caused a lack of air circulation.  Powdery mildew is a type of fungal disease that many grapes are susceptible to, and it thrives in the hot and humid conditions that the Corinth vines created.  And of course, it turns out that Corinth is REALLY susceptible to powdery mildew.  Of course.

The fungus caused a variety of problems, including grapes that didn’t develop or that split during growth, damaged leaves, and most lovely of all, a stench of wet, really dirty dog.  Even though my other grape varieties were less susceptible to the disease, the close proximity (a.k.a. being totally smothered) to the Corinth grape caused them to have some problems, too.

The Corinth is gone, and we are now going to try our luck with this little baby, a Thomcord.  It’s going to be a couple of years before we will know if it all works out!

Lesson learned: this grape variety needs its own space!  I think it would be lovely growing on an arbor over a dry space like a concrete pad or dry patch of dirt.  This would give it ample room to grow, and the air circulation needed to help keep powdery mildew at bay.  No guarantees, though.  If you get it to grow for you, you will be rewarded with loads of tasty little grapes that could then be dried into Zante currants.  Unfortunately, don’t count on the leaves for things like Dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), as the leaves are too tough for use.



7 thoughts on “Corinth Grape (Vitis vinifera): On the No Grow List

  1. I did not recognize that until you said it is also known as black currants! There was a similar grape at the farm that was known as black currant. It looked like that, although I have no way of knowing if it was. It was put there by people of Swedish descent who did not know much about some of the Mediterranean plants they put it. I thought that was a funny name. I got rid of it because it was so voracious but not very productive. The foliage was sort of trashy. I kept part of it alive for years because I felt guilty about killing something that the old people had planted so long ago, but eventually, It was removed.

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    1. Did you have the same problems with powdery mildew? I would think with your cooler climate it might not be so bad. Here it was just awful. I felt bad at first about taking it out, but I got over it pretty quickly! It will be interesting to see how my other vines do this summer without the Corinth smothering them.

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      1. It got powdery mildew, not because of the heat, but because of the dampness. It did not slow it down much, but it kept if from being colorful in autumn. It just turned brown. If it comes back from the roots, I will let a piece of it survive, and then just cut it to the ground annually. I would rather grow something productive.

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