Swenson Red is the first variety released from Elmer Swenson's grape breeding work in Minnesota.
Swenson Red is an early-season, meaty, red, table grape with a distinctive fruity flavor with notes of strawberry.
The oval reddish grapes make excellent table grapes. The sugar goes over 21 Brix, and some winemakers have produced a good white or rose wine with it.
The fruity flavor of this firm, meaty grape is unique. Only grapes with muscat flavor usually tie it in tastings.
While it is generally red, it may have blue in the color where nights are cool, and it can even be green in color when grown where nights are hot.
The vine may have rather low vigor in its early years, but it increases in vigor and productivity as it becomes well established.
Ripens up to 30 days before Concord, making it a great option for short season growers. Fruits are large, with a high sugar content, do contain seeds, and can be used to make a distinctive roseè or white wine.
Vines do well trained to cordons and pruned to two or three bud spurs.
Heavy dew or fog may interfere with set. On some of the clusters, flowers in the center section may fail to set, making the mature cluster dumbbell-shaped. Training the cordons high, at least 4 to 5 feet above the ground, helps keep the flower clusters out of the cool, most air near the ground that interferes with set.