Grow Your Own Fresh Fruit! Great Wine & Juice Variety!
‘Edelweiss’ is an early ripening white grape that produces large clusters of medium-sized fruit that are sweet and has a pleasant flavor. Its high sugar content makes it an excellent dessert white wine grape. Very winter hardy and excellent disease resistance, but may require winter protection for reliable fruiting in Zones 4. When the fruit is harvested early, it can make a sweet white wine with mild, fruity labrusca flavor. This very early ripening, white grape produces large clusters and is primarily for table, juice, and jelly uses. ‘Edelweiss’ was introduced by Elmer Swenson, at the University of Minnesota, when Mr. Swenson was on the staff at the U of M Horticultural Research Center. The vines have excellent disease resistance but may require winter protection for reliable fruiting in USDA Hardiness Zones 4.
For those who like the Niagara type flavor, this white grape ripens at least a month earlier than Niagara and has a growth habit that is much more controllable than the wildly vigorous Niagara. When harvested at early maturity the flavor is mild enough that prize-winning wines have been made from it. Left to hang, the flavor becomes stronger and more musky. Edelweiss likes moist, fertile soil for highest vigor and productivity, but even on average soils, it will perform well. Clusters are slightly larger when the vines are trained to canes, but my vines trained to cordons and spurs are very satisfactory.