The Kay Gray produces white to golden-coloured grapes that are great for fresh eating, juicing and winemaking. Its flavour varies from a rather ordinary labrusca to a pleasant fruity flavour, depending on where it is grown. It’s a vigorous grower producing many medium-sized clusters of compact grapes. The grapes average around 3.5 grams in weight. Ripens around early to middle of September in most years. Vines begin to produce fruit within 3 years after planting.
Kay Gray Grape has very good resistance to disease and is preferred by organic grape growers. Bred by Elmer Swenson in Osceola, Wisconsin. Found almost by accident: one year Mr. Swenson was ill and didn't spray his vineyard. There was one seedling vine that stood out for its health and resistance to disease that struck the other vines. Later he named it Kay Gray and introduced it in 1981.
Growers Note: Lay down vines on the ground in autumn before snowfall. Then cover with either leaves or eventually snow as this provides insulation. This is a successful and recommended technique for cold-climate grape growing to protect vines from extreme cold.
Hardiness Zone: 3b
Height at Maturity: 2.4 meter (8 feet)
Spread: 1.8 meters (6 feet)
Soil Preference: Moist: Well drained
Light Exposure: Full sun
Latin Name: Vitis 'Kay Gray'