V riparia X V. labrusca. Dark blue slipskin grape, all purpose.Bluebell is an interspecific hybrid cross between V. labrusca and V. riparia. Its parents are ‘Beta’ X unknown V. labrusca variety. Bred at Excelsior, Minnesota by A. Wilcox for the University of Minnesota Fruit Breeding Farm in 1923. It was released to growers in 1944. Originially Minn. 158.
Fruit – This is a medium sized dark blue grape with a slipskin. Very good fresh eating quality and flavor. Juicy and sweet with ‘Concord’ characteristics. The clusters are generally loose in structure, have a pronounced shoulder and are medium sized. Fruit is good as a table grape, for jelly and for making a nice pink colored juice. Does not keep particularly well.
Vine – Vigorous growth with typical trailing habit. Cluster thinning is not normally needed. Grapes hang well on the vine. If it is wet late in the season, berry cracking can be a problem. In Walden, we have little problem with this where we mulch. Hardy to -30 F.
Wine – Although not the best candidate for wine, it will produce a labrusca flavored product.
Management – Has some resistance to powdery and downy mildew, Botrytis bunch rot and black rot. Susceptible to anthracnose in wet years. Iron chlorosis is seen when pH exceeds 7.0. .