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I plan to train grape vines up and over the top of a pergola to create a shaded, outdoor dining area. I am more interested in the aesthetic of the vines and their shade giving properties than in growing crops. Getting decent fruit would be a mere bonus. I am pretty unlikely to make wine from them regardless of how they turn out.

My question is what variety to choose and what I should consider in terms of planting?

The climate is Southern England.

The location of planting would likely be an existing soil bed along the side of a fence. This would mean the roots would be in shade all day long and the vines would only get sunshine once they had neared the roof of the pergola.

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I live in west Essex and have a very nice grape vine called 'Phoenix' growing over our pergola. To quote an online descripition, 'Phoenix' is "A reliable vine, good disease resistance and large fruits that are both good to eat and to make delicious wine." It's a vigorous vine, so you do need to prune it properly with a permanent framework allowing the current season's growth to be trained along the pergola horizontal rafters.

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  • Many thanks for your answer. Great to know. I'll leave the question open for a while in case anyone wishes to add any detail about planting location. – Tim Sep 15 at 11:55

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