the present work aimed at evaluating and selecting seeddless grape varieties adapted to the semi-arid tropical conditions of the s？o francisco river valley, northeastern - brazil. the experiment was carried out in an experimental vineyard which belongs to embrapa semi-árid, in petrolina, pernambuco state, brazil during five growing seasons in 1997 and 1998. the varieties tested were: vênus, arizul, beauty seedless, thompson seedless, marroo seedless, canner, cg 39915, pasiga, saturn, emperatriz, a1581, paulistinha and loose perlette, grafted on iac 572 ('campinas') rootstock. aspects of vegetative and productive characteristics and chemical composition of the berries were evaluated. all varieties presented small bunches, and 'vênus' and 'marroo seedless' berries showed mean diameters of 17.83 and 18.26 mm, respectively, without necessity to apply growth regulators. the total soluble solids (tss) was high in most varieties. however, the total tritable acidity (tta) was low, resulting in satisfactory ratio (tss/att). 'vênus' and 'marroo seedless' were the most productive varieties, with the annual average production of 24 tons/ha and 20 tons/ha, respectively.