Thomcord, a sweet, seedless grape from ARS
Parlier, Calif., breeders, resulted from crossing a Thompson with a Concord.
Click the image for more information about it.
Thomcord Grape: Flavorful, Attractiveand Seedless!
By Marcia Wood
June 16, 2006
Two of America's favorite
grapesConcord, of peanut-butter-and-jelly-sandwich fame, and Thompson
Seedless, a summertime classicare proud parents of a tasty seedless grape
The plump, juicy Thomcord was developed by the
Agricultural Research Service's grape
breeders in California.
Thomcord has the blue-black skin, whitish bloom and bold flesh color of the
Concord, plus a pleasing Concord-like flavor that's lightened by the sweet,
mild taste of its Thompson parent. The fruit is slightly firmer than Concord.
Like Thompson Seedless, Thomcord is well suited for California's sunny
vineyards, according to research horticulturist
W. Ramming. He leads the grape-breeding studies at the ARS
Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center at Parlier, Calif.
Thomcord was the unexpected bonus of a laboratory experiment that Ramming
L. Tarailo conducted in the '80s. Their intent was to hybridize, or cross,
a Thompson with a Concord to answer a scientific question about a then-new
procedure for breeding superior new seedless grapes. The experiment not only
resolved the technical query, but also resulted in a promising plant, A29-67,
that is today's Thomcord.
The scientists put A29-67 through 17 years of scrutiny in California
vineyards before determining in 2003 that it was ready for growers and
gardeners. Already a hit at local farmers' markets during its experimental
days, Thomcord may begin showing up at other venues, such as the fresh-fruit
section of supermarkets, within a few years. The grape ripens in late July
ARS' grape-breeding research in California dates back to 1923. Over the
years, the research has yielded new varieties of red, white and black grapes
for hobbyist and professional growers. These fruits of the California studies
include some of today's best-selling seedless grapes.
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency