William Thompson was born in England in 1839 and immigrated to the United States in 1863. He grafted three vine cuttings of a grape variety called Lady de Coverly to California grapevines. Over a four-year period and some additional graftings, the grapes he produced were named Thompson seedless. Today the Thompson seedless grape is the most popular table grape as well as one of the most versatile. It is also used for juice and wine and accounts for 95 percent of the raisins produced in California.