A White Wine Grape
Similar Varieties: Cayuga White
Ripens Mid-Late September -- Very popular grape for juice & jelly. Makes a very fruity wine.
Usage Notes -- Wine, jelly, juice
Niagara, sometimes known as "White Concord" is most recognized as a grape for juice or jelly. Very strong labrusca flavor and character. Ripens with or before concord.
Click here for our jelly page.
Many people have purchased "Welch's white grape juice" in grocery stores. This is usually made from niagara grapes.
I like niagara wine finished with a slightly sweet finish. It is very fruity and has lots of flavor.
Harvest Notes -
Click here for a ripening summary and grape prices for the whole vineyard .....
Variety Info -- Niagara grapes are a variety of the North American grape species Vitis labrusca and are used as table grapes and for wines, as well as jams and juice.
Niagara is the leading green grape grown in the United States. The Niagara grape was created in Niagara County, NY in 1868 when C.L. Hoag and B.W. Clark cross-bred Concord grapes with white Cassady grapes. It was first sold commercially in 1882.
Niagara grapes are considered to be poor shipping grapes, and so are usually only found near where they are grown. They are most commonly found in the United States in New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Washington, and Ohio, and are also grown in Canada, Brazil, and New Zealand. While only rarely available fresh outside of these areas, Niagara grapes are well known to most American consumers as the source of most white grape juice.
The fresh grape is large and juicy, round to oval-shaped, pale greenish-white in color and has a sweet, very pleasant aroma. It also has a sweet and generally pleasant flavor, sometime being described as "foxy".
One reviewer attempted to characterize the "foxy" description. In analyzing the Niagara grape, he detected aromas like candied lemon rind, a Riesling-like diesel aroma, flowery jasmine-like notes, and what he called "a high-toned, candied muskiness." This latter descriptor he felt was the primary element of the term "foxy". His opinion of wines made with the grape is that they have unique and interesting properties that are not well-known due to Niagara's reputation as a less-than-optimum wine grape.
A diesel aroma in wine, surprisingly, is considered to be a positive attribute, but it can be excessive in wines made with the Niagara grape. One opinion is that Niagara grape skins should not contact the must for too long a time after pressing to avoid an excess of this characteristic.
Some reflections on Niagara
by Paul Bulas
(A very good article on Niagara grapes)
I am a huge fan of Niagara. No, not just the Niagara Peninsula wine region -- though I do love it -- but the Niagara grape variety. The rest of the story on the winelables.org website...........
Where are the Niagara vines located in the vineyard?
- Rows 58 & 59
- Rows 71 & 72
- Rows 87 to 89 South
Each row has about 50 vines.
Rows 58 & 59 were originally a white seedless vine that did not grow well so about 5 years ago they were removed and replanted with niagara. There may be an occasional white seedless vine in these rows.
Rows 71 & 72 were planted about the same time.
Rows 87 to 89 were just recently planted and may bear there first crop in 2007 or 2008.
All niagara vines are trained to a Geneva Double Curtain trellis, which means there are 2 top wires 4 feet apart (like utility poles) This gives the vines more room to grow.
Niagara is one of my favorite white grapes. It makes great juice and a very nice fruity white wine.
- In the spring of 2012 we grafted Niagara on the trunks of the Delaware vines - we hope to have 3 more rows of Niagara soon!
Links & Resources
Where can I Purchase Niagara Wine & Vines?
Niagara wine can be easily purchased in Michigan from local wine shops and grocery stores or may be purchased on line from: