Vines of container grown `DeChaunac', `Vidal blanc', `Seyval blanc' and `Chambourcin' grapes were subjected to 5 days of 80% shade at prebloom, bloom or 2 and 4 weeks after bloom. Fruit set, cluster weight, berries per cluster and juice components [soluble solids concentration (SSC), pH and titratable acidity] of `DeChaunac' and `Vidal blanc' were not affected by a short period of intensive shade. `Chambourcin' was sensitive to a shade period near the time of bloom for most of the aforementioned factors, while `Seyval blanc' was intermediate in sensitivity. Shot (green, hard, and undersized) berries of `Chambourcin' and `Seyval blanc' were increased by a 5-day period of shade 2 or 4 weeks after bloom. In a second study, container-grown `Chambourcin' on 3309C (V. riparia × V. rupestris) with one or two clusters and `Vidal blanc' with one cluster were subjected to the following light regimes beginning at bloom for 5 weeks: supplemental light, ambient greenhouse light and 30%, 50% or 80% shade. Yield, fruit set, specific leaf weight (leaf dry weight/leaf area), saturation index, and total leaf chlorophyll increased linearly with increasing irradiance. `Chambourcin' juice pH, SSC, leaf chlorophyll a/b ratio, cluster color development and hue angle decreased as irradiance increased, likely related to crop reduction. Responses in `Vidal blanc' followed similar trends, but differences were not as great. Results demonstrate that light is an important determining factor in fruit set of French-American hybrid grapes and fruit set of some cultivars are sensitive to short periods of intense shade.