New WSARE Project: Grapes for Tropical Hawaii





  • Hawaii Grape Growing Guide by Ken Love and Robert Paull
    Project abstract

    Grapes were reported growing in Honolulu in the late 1700s by Don DePaula Marin at a low elevation now known as Vineyard Ave. Sadly, any details as well as the cultivar name have been lost to time. Historians and horticulturalists suspect it was the Isabella variety but this has never been proven. In 2008 more than 9.1 million pounds of grapes were imported into Hawaii, which could be a considerable opportunity for growers in the state to replace the imports with locally grown. This project proposes, with the help of the USDA germplasm repository in Davis Calif., to test as many as 6 varieties which includes Isabella and others that grape specialists feel have a chance to perform in tropical lower elevations in Hawaii. The two-year project will establish rooted varieties in a number of lower elevations on different islands under the guidance of PI, Ken Love. Other producer collaborators will be on Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island of Hawaii. The project PI also plans to plant the selected varieties at a University of Hawaii Experiment station in order to insure the future of equitable germplasm distribution to all growers. All growers in Hawaii have an increasingly difficult time competing with imported produce. Those, like the PI, who have planned and planted an orchard based on a much greater than usual diversity of crops are also feeling the pinch. Still the market for locally grown fruits is continually increasing and requests for local fruit, not currently grown in Hawaii, (grapes, apricots, apples etc.) is leading that list. Previously funded WSARE farmer-rancher projects, FW07-034 and FW09-002 both helped to establish marketable crops in Hawaii. This project will bring together the same PI and collaborators as well as two others who adopted methods learned in the previous projects and are based on other islands. The PIÕs operation and that of the collaborators are small under 10 acre farms that need reliably producing crops to diversify with as each location as a different microclimate and variable growing conditions that must be augmented with numerous inputs. Figs and project FW07-034 is the perfect roll model to follow for testing grapes in Hawaii.

  • WSARE Original Grant
    Roy Kaneshiro's Isabella's

  • Oahu grower Roy and his Isabella's and project test varieties

    Grapes from OTEC, the natural energy lab using cold water technology

  • Vitis labrusca type
    University of Hawaii Kainaliu Experiment Station

  • First planting May 4 2012 plus Schattauer trelis
  • Sad looking vines at UH Kainaliu suffering from rose beetle damage in Aug 2012

    USDA Germplasm Repository photos


  • Photos of cuttings being prepared from soft and hard wood
  • basic photos on pruning young vines
  • rooted cuttings and grafted branches
  • UC Davis test field with different trelis
    Links to Helpful Scientific Papers

  • Vitaculture in Tropical Regions of India
  • Breeding Grapevines for Tropical Environments
  • Grapevine Breeding in Brazil
  • 1948 Tropical Grape paper by Joseph L. Fennell



    Love Family Farms

    KS Farm
  • First planting at the K Schattauer farm with their fenced in trelis to protect from goats
  • First planting at the G Schattauer farm with tomato basket frame using fantasy variety

    Bree's Pono Farm

    Early Delight Farm
  • crimson grape showing problems from rose beetle damage
  • Orlando Seedless



    Japan grape photos
  • Photos from Kagoshima Japan from production farm just before pruning.
  • Photos from Chiba Japan using an old green house frame

    Misc. Photos

  • Sheets used over grapes to delay ripening. Location unknown

    This project is funded by:

  • Western Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE)
    SARE is a program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture that functions through competitive grants conducted cooperatively by farmers, ranchers, researchers and ag professionals to advance farm and ranch systems that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities.


    Thanks for stopping by!

    Send mail to Ken at:

    ken@mycoffee.net (Japanese or English) or 72662.273@com puserve.com