I think my grapevines died over Winter

Last spring I planted a Somerset, marquis, and reliance grape. I did a scratch test on all three today. The reliance is bright green and spilling sap profusely. The other two are a pale green and aren’t spilling sap when I removed some growth. I suspect that the Somerset and Marquis are dead. I’m debating if I should wait or just order new plants. My concern is that if I wait a few more weeks and confirm that the plants are dead the vines that I want will be out of stock

I’m no grape expert but if you did a scratch test near the ground and it was pale green then maybe those two plants suffered damage over the winter. From my experience chainsawing my grandma’s 20yr old Niagara grape vine down several years ago, I can tell you that there is a good chance they will shoot up new growth from the roots. If the damage was caused by the cold then maybe you should just replace them for cold-hardy varieties anyway.

Do you know if grapevines do well where you are? We have Concord grapes in the back and we consider them inedible. I asked on Reddit and a person responded saying table grapes don’t grow well in Colorado. Starkbros rates summerset to zone 4 which is pretty low temps for many grapes. I trust Stark Bros on their zone ratings because they guarantee their plants at 125% for a year and I know at least when I was buying they would not even allow me to put a item in my cart that was not hardy to my zone. In other words assuming the cold killed it you got below zone 4 temps.

Grapes can be cold sensitive their first year, or two, that has been my experience so far, I’d wait to see if they come up from the root area. I have learned to root vine pieces as back up, until I know the orignals are thick and strong enough to survive the winter.

Did you have adequate snow cover? Did the rootzone freeze solid?

Somerset is supposed to be hardy so it sounds a bit surprising they’d die just like that. Mine are still under a thick layer of snow at z4.

By way of update, all the vines are alive and thriving, so anyone reading this that is similarly worried, wait a bit before you write off your grapes.

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Grapes are the absolutely last thing to green up where I am, zone 4 in Palmer Alaska. My Valiant grape did not bud until June 1st and that is a vine on a south facing wall, where the building and the sun warms things up faster than anywhere else.

For cold hardiness the go-to vine is the aforementioned Valiant, one of the very few early enough to produce in our super short season. The second choice is King of the North, also hardy and early. Frontenac (red and gris) is hardy enough, but outside it just never had enough time to ripen fruit. I have one potted and the plan is to bring it indoors in April. Snow cover doesn’t go away until May.

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