To grow grapes effectively, you need to have between 150 to 200 days that are frost free. This will help you in your production of the vitis vinifera fruit. The vitis vinifera is the classic species used to make wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay. The quality of the wine depends a lot on the last frost. Some wines do better in an area where there is a later frost such as Riesling, Gewirztraminer, and Pinot Noir. Others need to have around one hundred and ninety days or more free of frost such as Cabernet, Merlot, and Chardonnay. If you have a less than ideal climate to grow your grapes, you should grow one of the hardier of North American grapes such as the vitis labrusca or hybrid vines like Baco Noir, Chancellor, Chardonnel, or Norton.

The best way to know what to plant is to talk to your neighbors to discover the vines they use to produce their best wines. If there are no winemakers in your local area that grow grapes, called some of your local nurseries and discuss with them the varieties that may do well in your situation.

Overall, the vitis vinifera does great in the Northwest and West parts of the United States. There are also some areas in the Northeast, Midwest, and Southwest where there has been some success growing is grapes. In fact, there are some fine white wines produced in areas of New York and Michigan where the lakes help to moderate the climate. Many growers in the states of Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have success growing in their small vineyards. You will occasionally find successful vineyards and other places like Kentucky, but those growers have quite the challenge.

In Canada, the vitis labrusca variety is typically grown because of the harsh winters there. There are some small microclimates in Ontario and the Lake Erie regions, though, that produce some top rate wines such as Rieslings and Chardonnays.

Regardless of where you live, there is a species of winegrape that will do well in your area. Your best bet is to talk to local growers and winemakers to discover what works best for the region you live in.

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