We are very excited to re introduce some of Gillet’s huge selection of table, raisin and wine grape varieties. He offered more than 240 varieties in one catalog (!), and we have located a few of the survivors from the 1800’s. Grapes apparently don’t live as long as many of his fruit and nut trees, so finding them is a challenging reward. If you know of any old grape vines, we would be most interested to hear from you! Gillet offered most of the common wine grape varieties now grown in California such as Alicante, Barberra, Cabernet Sauvignon, Carignane, Carmenet, Charbonneau, Chardonnay, Dolcetta, Flame Tokay, Gamay, Malbec, Malvosie, Menuier, Merlot, Muscat (16 varieties!), Napa Gamay, Petite Gamay, Petite Syrah, Petite Verdot, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Rousanne, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Syrah, Zinfandel and many more. We hope to offer many of these varieties in coming years.
All of our grapes are 1-2 year old cuttings on their own root, growing in one gallon nursery pots. We do not ship grapes, pick up only.
Kish Mish (aka Thompson Seedless and Sultana)
This is a seedless Afghani variety Gillet introduced to the US in 1876. He likely sold some vines to Mr. Thompson, a farmer near the Sutter Buttes in Sutter County, who made the variety famous, and named it after himself. The most widely grown seedless table grape in the US, it is also the premier raisin and often used in making juice, juice concentrate, wine and vinegar. Truly a workhorse, and a wonderful grape. If you have never eaten a fully vine ripened Thompson Seedless you have no idea how much better they are than the store bought kind that have been pumped up with hormones to increase their size and picked immature green, instead of the smaller true golden yellow of a ripe Kish Misch. Outstanding!
Our plants are propagated from the daughters of the Mr. Thompson’s original vineyard, a 115 year old vineyard on the edge of the Sutter Buttes in Sutter County. We offer dormant, potted cuttings 1-2 years old.
Coyote Street Purple
We have yet to positively identify this vine by variety, but it is well worth our offering as it is an outstanding seeded, large berries blushed purple multi purpose grape, excellent for fresh eating, juice, jellies and wine making. Beautiful large bunches ripen in September and early October in Nevada City at 2500’ on an old homestead full of Gillet plants. Highly resistant to powdery mildew, this vine is never sprayed and produces remarkably clean fruit annually.
Lowell Hill Beauty
Another excellent variety we have yet to positively identify. A large fruited very flavorful, round blushed purple to deep purple medium size cluster seeded grape well suited for fresh eating, juice, jelly and vinegar. This grape is immune to powdery mildew, is never sprayed and completely clean in our observations.
A 100+ year old vine vigorously growing untended in the late 1800’s mining camp of Lowell Hill in Placer County, near the Bear River at 3800’. Lowell Hill is famous for producing wine grapes, apples and one of California’s first governors.
Squire Canyon Red
This one has stumped our efforts to identify it, but it’s so worth growing we’ve named it after its home in Dutch Flat, CA at 3100’ in Placer County. Dutch Flat is a beautiful old town adjacent to a huge hydraulic mine from the mid 1800’s, and along side the Trans Sierra railroad, connecting it with the world back in the day.
The mother grape vine is on an abandoned old homestead, surviving to this day by climbing up an adjacent pine tree, where it fruits yearly with no care. Nearly immune to powdery mildew, the scourge of most grapes. Large red berries, medium size clusters are firm, complex, very flavorful and sweet. The seeded grape is great for fresh eating, jellies, juice, wine and vinegar. Yum…