Vitis species ‘Victoria Red’

The University of Arkansas, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Tarkington Vineyards have released a Pierce’s disease (PD) tolerant grape variety named ‘Victoria Red’. Evaluated as Arkansas 1475, ‘Victoria Red’ was bred in 1971. It has been shown to be very tolerant to Pierce’s disease (Xylella fastidiosa) referred to as “PD”. The most significant characteristic of ‘Victoria Red’ is its sustained health, vigor and productivity in Coastal Texas, an area of the United States with extremely high Pierce’s disease (PD) pressure. It is a seeded grape with both large berries and clusters that are attractive and quite long with a bright red skin color. Average cluster weight at Tarkington Vineyards near Victoria, TX exceeded one pound. The Tarkington Vineyards’ location is approximately 40 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and has very intense Pierce’s disease (PD) pressure. Vines at this location were vigorous and productive for twenty years while all other susceptible varieties died rapidly from PD.

Exposure: Does best in full sun and wide spacing; 8 to 10 feet apart

Size: Will grow luxuriantly; best not to over fertilize and prune to keep in bounds each year

Plant Type: Perennial; can suffer some freeze damage as you move further north

Planting Time: Bare root plants in early winter

Soil Type: Well drained; may require iron chelate on high pH soil

Suggested Uses: ‘Victoria Red’ is recommended primarily as a fresh-fruit cultivar in USDA hardiness zones 7b or warmer. ‘Victoria Red’ is typically a two seeded berry with an occasional third seed trace. In addition to yield and quality potential, ‘Victoria Red’ has loose clusters which appears to make it resistant to bunch rot organisms common on more tightly clustered varieties.

Special Note: A major limitation of this variety can be its lack of cold hardiness as it routinely suffered cane and trunk injury in West-Central Arkansas. However, it has been grown successfully in the Lubbock area, but obviously has some occasional freeze damage.

For further information: New Texas Superstar introduced: Victoria Red grapes