Below are our some of our favorite resources that will give you additional information on growing grapes in Hawai'i. Click on the resource to view the PDF.
Feel free to download those you find useful. We will be adding resources regularly so check back.
I began my grape research with the Question: Can this project find the right grape varieties that will successfully grow and thrive in the subtropics consistently producing delicious table grapes using organic practices?
Using a unique research model, that includes extensive investigation into the work of T.V. Munson, Joseph L. Fennel, Lon Rombough, and Francisco Wallington-Linares, the project chose 35 varieties available on the USDA GRIN Grape Repository at UC Davis that were successfully bred in semi-tropical and subtropical regions, have wild grape genetics in their parent lines and have proven potential in Southern Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Caribbean.
Using that information, and building upon the work of Ken Love and “Grapes for Tropical Hawaii,” this project will vet these varieties at Kawanui Farm in Kona, Hawaii.
If you would like to do further reading yourself we recommend the following books and articles, linked where possible.
1. T.V. Munson, D. Sc. – In the 1880-1913 era, T.V. Munson was the foremost researcher and breeder at his nursery in Dennison, Texas.
• “Foundations of American Grape Culture” by T.V. Munson 1909 (Book: available for purchase at used booksellers online)
• “Grape Man of Texas: Thomas Volney (T.V.) Munson & the Origins of American Viticulture” By Sherrie S. McLeRoy, and Roy E. Renfro, Jr. Ph.D. 2008 (Book: Available from Booksellers online)
• “Grayson College: T.V. Munson Memorial Vineyard” The Vineyard serves as a repository to preserve 60 of the original Munson varieties as a resource for the viticulture & enology program. Grape varieties are characterized in a paper on Viticulture and Enology.
2. Joseph L. Fennell was a “freelance” grape researcher from Florida in the 1930s and 1940s. He said, if you can’t grow grapes in an area, cross them with ones that will grow. We are trialing many of his varieties developed in Southern Florida, that have wild grape parents from the Everglades.
• “Inheritance Studies with the Tropical Grape” By Joseph L. Fennell -
The Journal of Heredity.
“A Biographical Profile of Joseph L. Fennell” By C.O. Forester Jr. Vitus Research & Development Corporation Elsa, Texas 1991 - Foerster1991.pdf
“Future Ideal Grapes” The Journal of Heredity. Pdf
“The Tropical Grape” Inter-American Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Turrialba, Costa Rica - The Scientific Monthly.pdf
3. Lon Rombough is a grape researcher and grower in Oregon. The Book referenced below is the best “how-to” book on grapes that I have read.
• “The Grape Grower: A Guide to Organic Viticulture” 2002 - Available from Online Booksellers.
4. "Chateau Stripmine" from the University of Florida. This document lists the University of Florida grapes that have been developed for the subtropics. Parent lines that include wild grape genetics are listed by the varieties name. Gerry recommends this paper for all grape growers in Hawai'i. The list was created by an enthusiastic amateur grape grower and links to the UC Davis Grape Repository.
5. Francisco Wallington-Linares currently lives in Puerto Rico and is a Grape Researcher who has written extensively about subtropical grape production with many articles in Spanish.
• “Adaptive Viticulture in the Caribbean Basin” A Dissertation presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy by Francisco Wallington-Linares in 1990. https://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00022161/00001