Cardinal is a delicious Californian grape variety

Every person needs to eat grapes, since these berries are not only tasty, but also very useful. If you want to grow grapes yourself, you should carefully study the characteristics of the various varieties. For lovers of grape classics, we recommend the Californian table variety of dark grapes Cardinal, which gives very early harvests.

The history of cultivating grape varieties Cardinal

The Cardinal variety appeared a long time ago - in the middle of the last century. It was bred by Californian breeders E. Snyder and F. Harmon on the basis of crossing the grapes Queen of the vineyards and Alphonse Lavalle. The new variety gradually spread to Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, France and other European countries.

In 1958, Cardinal was brought to Soviet Russia from France (Montpellier nursery), since 1965 he began to undergo state variety testing, and since 1974 the variety was officially registered in the State Register of Breeding Achievements. Zoned in the North Caucasus region, and since 2004 - in the Lower Volga region.

Cardinal grapes and its varieties in the photo

The cardinal has become the basis for many other grape varieties. In particular, there are varieties Anapsky Cardinal, obtained in Russia, and Moldavian Cardinal resistant, obtained by crossing the Cardinal with Moldovan grapes Criuleni.

Description of the Cardinal variety

Cardinal is a table variety with a very early ripening period - from the beginning of the growing season to the ripening of the first clusters, it takes 105-110 days.

The bushes are distinguished by their great vigor, reaching a height of 3 m. The yield of the variety can be very high, since each plant produces up to 70 fruiting shoots, each of which, on average, produces 1–2 brushes. The vines ripen 1 / 2–2 / 3 of their length. The greenery is dense, the leaves are large, shiny, without pubescence, with triangular teeth along the edge. The flowers are self-pollinating.

The clusters are cylindro-conical (sometimes with a wing), rather large, but loose. It is precisely because of its looseness that a brush with a length of 25–30 cm has a mass of 300–600 g.

Cardinal has large, rounded berries

The berries are oval or round-oval in shape and have a rather large size (weight 5–7 g). A distinctive feature of the berries is the grooves on the surface. The dense skin is painted in a dark red-violet color with a smoky waxy coating. The color of the juicy, slightly crunchy pulp is greenish-white. 3-4 seeds are hidden in the pulp. The berries taste very pleasant, sour-sweet, with a slight nutmeg aroma. The sugar content in berries is not too high - 16-18%, the amount of acid reaches 7-8 g / l.

Cardinal grapes on video

Variety characteristics

The Cardinal variety has both advantages and disadvantages.


  • early ripening;
  • high yield (up to 20-25 kg per 1 bush);
  • can be stored for a long time without loss of quality;
  • drought resistance;
  • pleasant taste.


  • does not tolerate a drop in temperature during the growing season (shedding of the ovary and flowers may occur, the berries become smaller);
  • the yield is unstable;
  • non-simultaneous ripening of berries in bunches;
  • weak winter hardiness;
  • poor resistance to diseases and pests;
  • exactingness to soil quality and care (yield may fluctuate).

Features of planting and growing

The quality of the future harvest is largely determined by competent planting.

When choosing a place for the Cardinal, you need to keep in mind that he reacts very painfully to the cold. Therefore, a well-warmed area, sheltered from cold winds, should be allocated for it. The most suitable soils for this variety are chernozems or loams.

Breeding methods for grapes

The optimal way to propagate the Cardinal variety is grafting with cuttings on an adult stock, best of all on the Chassela X Berlandieri or Berlandieri X Riparia bushes, which are resistant to adverse conditions. Cuttings must be carefully prepared. Usually they are harvested in the fall, during the pruning of the vines for the winter. It is desirable to take a cutting from the middle part of a fruit shoot with a diameter of 7–10 mm, with a length of internodes of about 8 cm. Leaves, lateral shoots, and the top are removed from the cutting. There should be at least 4 buds. Since the cuttings should survive until spring, it is recommended to cover the cut with paraffin and put the cuttings on the lower shelf of the refrigerator.

To protect the cut during storage, the cuttings must be dipped in melted paraffin.

The best time for vaccination is spring, from the last ten days of April to the first days of May.

The old rootstock bush is removed, leaving a small stump. The surface of the stump is cleaned to full smoothness. The stock must be split exactly in the middle, carefully, using a sharp hatchet and hammer. The lower part of the cutting is placed in the split, cut off at an angle on both sides.

The vaccination site must be tightened as tightly as possible.

The stock should be pulled very tightly and tied with a strip of strong cloth and the place of grafting should be coated with clay. The grafted bush is watered with 3-4 buckets of water and the soil around the bush is mulched with peat or sawdust.

Grafting grapes in a stem - video

A less reliable way to plant a Cardinal is to plant cuttings. The cuttings must be healthy and strong. The number of eyes should be at least 2-3. Cuttings can be germinated in water before roots appear. It is useful to dip them in a growth stimulator (sodium humate) before planting. Cuttings are planted in a previously prepared soil fertilized with potassium-phosphorus preparations and organic matter. The disadvantage of this method is the need for temperature control. Soil temperature should be at least +10 aboutС, and air - not less than +15 aboutC, otherwise the cuttings will simply not take root.

For root formation, cuttings are immersed in water

Grape care rules

The Cardinal's yield is highly dependent on the quality of care. Under unfavorable growing conditions, the color and ovary begin to fall off, the berries are peeled.

The variety loves moisture very much, despite its drought resistance. The moisture content of the soil should be moderate, but constant: with an excess of moisture, the berries crack and rot. If stagnant water is present, drainage should be arranged. Under normal soil conditions, the grapes need to be watered 3-4 times per season. Moisture is especially necessary for the bushes during budding and during the period of setting. Pour 1-2 buckets of water under each bush, preferably warm.

To preserve moisture in the soil, it is recommended to close the tree trunk circle with mulch made from cut grass or sawdust.

Mulching the soil with straw will help retain moisture in the soil

Vine bushes need pruning. In warm southern regions, the Cardinal variety can be grown in the form of a tree with a high stem - in this case, the grapes give high yields, and the bunches are distinguished by their size and elegant appearance.

In cold regions, bushes are usually formed in the form of a fan or a two-armed cordon.

To obtain a cordon, two main vines are formed on the grape bush, which are directed horizontally along the trellis in different directions. On the main vines, all shoots are removed, except for vertical ones, which are placed at regular intervals and fixed on a trellis.

The scheme of the formation of grapes in the form of a two-armed cordon - video

With fan pruning, no more than 13-14 fruit shoots should be left on the bush, and the total number of eyes should be 25-30. In the first year, the standard part is laid, in the second, 4 or more sleeves (skeletal branches) are formed, on which fruit shoots are laid at the beginning of the third year.

Fan formation takes 3 years

In addition to watering and pruning, the Cardinal needs regular feeding. Organic matter in the form of compost or humus is applied in spring and autumn by mulching the bushes with a thick (5–8 cm) layer of fertilizers.

In addition to organic matter, it is necessary to feed the grapes with minerals (complex fertilizer can be used). This is done 3-4 times during the growing season: when the leaves appear, before the buds open, after the flowers have fallen, and after the harvest.

Spraying with a solution of ferrous sulfate helps to eradicate one of the disadvantages of the variety - non-simultaneous ripening of berries.

Since the Cardinal is not resistant to disease, it is necessary to carry out preventive treatments in a timely manner. Since Cardinal mainly suffers from fungal diseases, the vine is treated, mainly with fungicides. Preparations such as colloidal sulfur or Ridomil are dissolved in water and sprayed on the plants, trying to spray both the upper and lower surfaces of the leaves, as well as the bark of the shoots.

Protection of grapes from diseases and pests - video

The main pests of grapes are wasps and birds. You can protect yourself from both of them by tying each brush in a bag of gauze or thin cloth. Of course, this method requires a lot of time and labor, but protection is guaranteed.

For the winter, the Cardinal's bushes must be covered (except for the southern regions). To do this, after the autumn pruning, the vines are tied in bunches and bent to the ground, and then tied with straw or covered with foil or soil.

The vine wrapped in foil can be sprinkled with earth on the sides and pressed down with stones for greater safety

Collection, storage and use of the crop

The harvest of the Cardinal grapes can begin to be harvested in the first half of August. The brushes are cut with pruning shears, leaving a 4–5 cm leg. For transportation, shallow baskets or wooden boxes are best suited, in which it is desirable to put the grapes more tightly.

Cardinal is stored for quite a long time - about 3 months in a cool room with constant humidity.

Despite the table purpose of the variety, it can be used for making raisins, juice, compotes, and jam.

You can make delicious compote from grapes

Gardeners reviews

The Cardinal grape is not the easiest variety to grow. However, if you are willing to take the time to care for it and protect it from diseases and pests, this classic variety will delight you with an abundant harvest of large, juicy berries with a nutmeg aroma. For its taste, many experts call this variety a luxury grape.

  • Print

Hello! My name is Maria, 40 years old. My main job is teaching technical subjects.

Rate the article:

(2 votes, average: 5 out of 5)

Share with your friends!

Watch the video: California Grape Farm. grapes farming California. grapes from California

Previous Article

Proper Care For Holly Shrubs – Tips For Growing A Holly Bush

Next Article

Bountiful Bean Facts – How To Grow Bountiful Heirloom Beans