Hogan Grape Vine- Zone 4
Characteristics of the tree
Hogan is a small to medium, dark blue seeded grape. Its skin is moderately thick and detaches very easily from the pulp. It is tart and sweet, with acidity slightly dominating and an intense, aromatic and complex flavour. The taste is overall somewhat reminiscent of Concord, or perhaps the blue Ontarian grape that one can find in grocery stores. It is very agreeable to eat fresh, despite the seeds (although some people actually enjoy this crunchy element!) The Hogan grape ripens early and can be harvested over a period of a couple of weeks. Its flavour improves if it is left on the vine for a week or so after it first begins to appear ripe, with more flavour and a higher sugar content. We use this grape mainly as a table grape for fresh eating, but its flavour would also surely be interesting when turned into juice, perhaps in a mixture with another sweeter variety.
Hogan is a hardy and very productive grapevine. One vine can produce more than 8kg of fruit in a year (although this will vary depending on the season, pollination, sunlight and other factors.) It is one of the earliest-ripening varieties, its harvest period beginning at the end of August (in zone 4). It is hardy to at least zone 4, but would probably be worth trying in zone 3 with snow cover.
We came across this grape vine in our home village of Sainte Julienne, on the old abandoned farm of Mr. Hogan. Hogan was a salesman, who amassed a collection of plants he had discovered while travelling around the country. We named this variety in his honour!
Like all vines, grape vines are of the nature to climb on a nearby support, gripping onto it by their tendrils. The support you provide will, to a great degree, determine the growth of your grape vine (i.e., it will not grow any taller than its supporting structure). This illustration shows a grape vine growing horizontally along a fence. You could also choose a pergola or another form of support.
Bear in mind also that you should not allow your vine to grow unrestrained as much as it pleases, if you wish to harvest a good amount of fruit. It should be properly pruned each year after it begins to produce.
All our grape vines are sold bare-root, without pots. They have been cultivated directly in our soil. Bare-root trees must be taken out of the ground and shipped during their period of dormancy, which is why we only ship trees in the spring. A big advantage with these kinds of trees is that they take up very little space, and can therefore be easily shipped by mail all over Canada!
This photograph shows a 1-2-foot grape vine, just like one that you might receive. It’s worth noting that grape vines are among the plants that are the latest to open their buds – so don’t panic if your vine seems to take longer than normal to break dormancy after you plant it.
When planning where to plant your grapevines and what kind of supporting structure to use, you might want to consider the possibility of laying down the vines under the snow for the winter. While all the cultivars we offer are hardy to at least zone 4, and therefore should not need extra protection for winter, we prefer to be on the safe side. Therefore, after we have pruned our grapevines in fall, we lay down the branches on the ground so that they will be insulated by the snow during the winter. We designed our fence with this in mind: you can see how we made it here. This might not be necessary in warmer zones, but is something you should consider if you are in zone 4a or colder.