By: Justin Scheiner
Lomanto is a Pierce’s Disease (PD) tolerant red wine grape cultivar that was developed by T.V. Munson in 1902. Lomanto resulted from a cross between the hybrid grape cultivar Salado (Vitis Champinii × Brilliant) and Pense. Pense is a synonym for the European grape (Vitis vinifera) cultivar Malaga, meaning that Lomanto is presumably at least 50 percent Vitis vinifera.
Lomanto is grown commercially on a small scale in Texas as a wine grape and is frequently grown as a backyard grape due to its disease resistance and high-quality potential (Fig. 1).
Lomanto is moderately resistant to powdery mildew yet somewhat susceptible to black rot (Fig. 2) and downy mildew (Figs. 3 and 4). For backyard growers, losses from these diseases may not be significant enough to warrant treatment with fungicide sprays. However, commercial vineyards will require protection when conditions are strongly favorable for downy mildew infections (persistent warm, wet weather), and young fruit needs protection against black rot.
Other diseases such as phomopsis cane, leaf spot, anthracnose, and grapevine trunk diseases may also require control. The major insect pest of Lomanto is the grape berry moth, although other insects can be occasional pests.
Lomanto has a semi-upright growth habit and spindly shoots (Fig. 5). It may be successfully trained to either a low-wire or high-wire system (Fig. 6). Due to its relatively small leaves and medium-sized clusters (Fig. 7), it may be pruned to high shoot densities (four to six shoots per foot of canopy). Lomanto has a moderate yield potential and production is highest on divided canopy systems where greater shoot densities are maintained.
Most commonly grown as un-grafted or own-rooted vines, Lomanto appears to be adapted to a wide range of soil conditions but may benefit from grafting onto an alkaline-tolerant rootstock when soil pH is greater than 7.5.
Lomanto clusters are medium-sized, averaging around 1/3 pound. Cluster architecture is conical and moderately compact often with a small wing (Fig. 8). A well-trained Lomanto vine can produce 10 to 20 pounds of fruit at a spacing of 6 to 8 feet between vines.
Lomanto grapes have a fruity, jammy flavor and make intensely colored jelly and wine. They are popular for jellies, juice, and are often made into a simple fruity-flavored red wine. At maturity (Fig. 9), Lomanto fruit typically has fewer soluble solids than many European cultivars, commonly ranging from 14 to 18 percent. Unless sugar is added (chaptilization) this results in a relatively low alcohol wine. Due to Lomanto’s fruit flavor and general lack of tannins, it is well-suited to make a semi-sweet red wine.
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