Botanically from the berry family, grapes are grown for fresh consumption and dried fruit (like raisins) or are processed into jams, jellies, juice and wine. Grapes leaves are also used many dishes. Find out how these berries are grown and more grape facts:

  1. Grapes were cultivated over 7,000 years ago near present-day Iran.
  2. Spanish friars brought the berries to California and the southwest United States around the 1700s.
  3. There are over 8,000 grape varieties.
  4. These berries come in green, red, black, yellow, pink, and purple.
  5. It takes about 2.5 pounds of the fruit to make one bottle of wine.
  6. California is the largest grape producing state.
  7. There are about 450 growers of table grapes in California.
  8. In 2017, over 7 million tons of the fruit was grown in the U.S. About 88% of those grapes were grown in California. Washington and New York are other top growing states.
  9. About 99% of commercially grown table grapes are grown in California.
  10. There are about 100 berries in a bunch.
  11. A grapevine can grow over 50 feet if not trimmed.
  12. In the winter months, when the vines fall dormant, growers prune the vines and get them ready for the growing season.
  13. After dormancy buds begin to swell on the vine. After about 3 or 4 weeks the growth of the plants speed up.
  14. Once temperatures reach about 68°F the flowers begin to bloom in bunches.
  15. Fertilized flowers will begin to develop seeds and a berry. Since most table grapes are seedless, the seed stop forming soon after fertilization.
  16. In the first stage of berry development grapes are green and hard.
  17. By the second stage the berries are about half their final size and they begin to soften and change color.
  18. The final stage the berries begin to ripen, becoming softer and accumulating their sugar content.
  19. Harvest begins once the berries are ripe. Timing is everything. After they are harvested, they no longer become sweeter.
  20. Grapes are delicate, so they must be harvested by hand.

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Sources:
Agricultural Marketing Resource Center
Grapes From California
Webmd

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