Valiant Grape Vine- Zone 2
Characteristics of the tree
For such a cold-hardy grape, Valiant tastes excellent: equally suitable for eating fresh and for making juice or jelly. It grows in small clusters. The skin of the grape is relatively thick and very dark blue, almost black. It is slipskin (does not adhere to the pulp). It is quite firm and gelatinous in texture, with seeds, and the flavour is a good balance of tart and sweet, somewhat similar to Concord. Valiant is ready in late August to mid-September, though this will vary depending on the year and location. It is the best grape that you can grow in zone 2, but if you are in a warmer climate, the other varieties we offer will have a superior flavour.
The Valiant grapevine is the hardiest table grape variety that has yet to be found. Easily able to withstand temperatures of -40°C, it is hardy in zone 2 with snow cover. Despite its extreme hardiness, it is still preferable to lay down the vines on the ground in the fall before the snow falls, in order to ensure good snow cover. It is self-fertile and very productive, even overproducing at times, meaning that you may want to thin some of the clusters to ensure that all are able to ripen fully. A mature grape vine can yield 9-18kg of fruit. Apart from some susceptibility to downy mildew, it has reasonably good resistance to disease.
Valiant was bred by Dr. Ron Peterson at South Dakota State University in 1982. Peterson spent years travelling in search of hardy wild grapes (Vitus riperia), in northwestern Montana and as far north as the Canadian border. Valiant was the result of crossing one of these hardy Vitus riperia grapes with the cultivar Fredonia.
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.