History of Concord Grapes | A New England Original
Although New York, Ohio, Michigan, and Washington now supply the bulk of the country’s commercial crop, the Concord grape did indeed get its start in Concord, Massachusetts. Gold-leaf artisan, horticulturalist, and Concord resident Ephraim Wales Bull (1806-1895) spent years working with 22,000 seedlings before finding a vine worth keeping — a derivative of a wild Vitis labrusca grape that could withstand the harsh New England weather. He propagated it for five years before bringing his crop to market, thus making the Concord grape one of just a handful of edible fruits native to North America. In fact, a shoot that grew from the original Concord grapevine root still clings to a trellis near Bull’s little white house — a living testimony to the hardy nature of this tasty, healthy treat.