Grapa Newsletter #231

Harvest-time in Northern Greece and Southern Italy

This week, we present a review of the recent ARRA™ season in these areas of the Mediterranean. As the following items demonstrate, the ARRA varieties are certainly gaining ground in these regions.

Greece: ARRA 32 & ARRA 19

Two teams from the UK’s Jupiter Group have returned home from three-day field trips in Greece after seeing first-hand the new pioneering varieties of grape yielding in their vineyards.
Staff from across the board at the family-run company flew out to make the visit to the north of the country to observe at close range the game changing ARRA grapes that their vines have started to bear.

Jupiter Marketing in Greece
UK's Jupiter Group team check out the new developments in ARRA production in Greece

Jupiter’s procurement manager, John Ferguson said that the amounts of each grape ready to supply over the next 12 months will vary depending on the variety and weather conditions.
While the first ARRA are due to yield very soon, further planting, either already undertaken, or in the pipeline will further boost the supply so that it can meet increasing demand that’s expected from its customers, both old and new, in the near future.
He also revealed that the crispy textured ARRA 19 is one of the varieties that has grown “particularly well” and is bearing “large berry sized” fruit, with the ARRA 32 also producing “impressive” results.

Jupiter’s ARRA grapes, across all of it vineyards, have been nurtured without the use of any artificial growth regulators and the results are set to reap excellent rewards.
John added: “We are looking forward to 2019 when we will have our first commercial production from Greece.”

ARRA 32 Harvest in Greece

The cold nights in Northern Greece darken this variety to a rich blue/black colour. Together with its crunch and sweetness, the ARRA 32 is the complete package.
 
The Arra 32 has impressed with the fertility of the bunches and their growth. Great care was taken to remove many bunches and trim to size early in the season. As John remarks, “throughout the season we have continued to drop bunches as we noticed a heavier crop than we expected for the young vines developing.”
With no treatments for size the berry size is still an average 22-25 mm. Colour came very early and easily to the Arra 32 and the fruit appeared ready much earlier than expected but with low sugars. Holding the fruit on the vines allowed the sugars to increase and deliver a lovely flavour to the grapes.
ARRA 32 vineyard in Greece
ARRA 32 no GA applications
This beautiful crop of ARRA 32 was achieved with no GA applications
ARRA 32 Packed for the shelves
ARRA 32 is packed and ready for the shelves
Jupiter Marketing inspecting ARRA 32 in Greece
Jupiter Group's Andy Rich inspects the harvest-ready ARRA 32

ARRA 19 Harvest in Greece

This mid-late variety appears to ripen later in Greece due to the microclimate in Kavala, resulting in an autumn harvest with even crunchier and sweeter grapes.

This variety has grown particularly well with large even berry size, bunches looked almost artificial hanging on the vines being so even in colour and size. The crispy texture of the grape made for a really pleasant eating experience and the colour of the bunches attracts the eye straight away. Colour was 100% natural with no treatments.
All fruit this year was grown without the use of any artificial growth regulators and still managed to reach an impressive 20-22 average berry size.

ARRA 19 in Greece
ARRA 19 ready for harvest

The ARRA varieties in Greece are grown under the guidance of the Jupiter Group agronomist Mr. Disri Nieuwouldt together with regional procurement manager, Mr. Dimitris Theodorou and we would like to thank them both for their hard work and dedication to this project.

Italy: ARRA 15 harvest

By following the expert guidance of the AVI technical team; Maurizio Simone and Marco Tempesta, the ARRA 15 growers in Southern Italy have achieved outstanding results.

In this edition, it is our pleasure to share with you the following summary of the ARRA 15 season in Southern Italy, as kindly provided by Maurizio and Marco:

The season in southern Italy has been rainy and warm. According to our weather station, in July the temperature ranged from a minimum of 16 °C to max 40 °C, whilst in August we had a minimum 18 °C and max 39 °C with almost 60 mm of rain concentrated in the middle of this month. Despite the climate, the ARRA 15 has been showing so far an excellent resistance and shelf life on the vines, especially if we compare this variety with other white seeded and seedless grapes which are ripening during the same period of the year (Regal for instance). This positive trait of the ARRA 15 is allowing the growers to harvest the grape without hurry and in compliance with the minimum quality standards of the variety. A little ripening slowdown in some farms has been caused by the infection exerted by downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola) which is mainly visible on the vegetation coming out from the plastic cover, where the 100% of relative humidity often occur. Nowadays, in Puglia and Sicily there are almost 73 hectares of ARRA 15 in production out of 80 hectares planted. We would like to acknowledge those farms who excel for the high quality ARRA 15 produced in respect of the production protocol:

AVI technical team

Azienda Agricola Nanna Leonardo (planted in 2012)

ARRA 15 Leonardo Nanna
Mr. Leonardo Nanna proudly displays the bunch of ARRA 15
Mr. Leonardo Nanna proudly displays the bunch of ARRA 15

Azienda Agricola Terrana Vito (planted in 2016)

Azienda Agricola Terrana Vito (planted in 2016)
Looking good enough to eat; ARRA 15 from Agricola Terrana Vito
Looking good enough to eat; ARRA 15 from Agricola Terrana Vito

Azienda Agricola Caputo Nicola (planted in 2012)

The Caputo family enjoy the fruits of their labour, ARRA 15
The Caputo family enjoy the fruits of their labour

Azienda Agricola Facchino Giacomo (planted in 2012)

ARRA 15 ripe for picking
ARRA 15 ripe for picking

In addition to the above, other outstanding farms include: Babbo Tommaso, Pavone Vineyards and among the organic grapes producers, Romanazzi/Comes.

We would like to thank AVI for their dedication and continued support for the ARRA programme in Europe and to thank Jupiter Marketing for their dedication and support for the ARRA programme in Greece and all around the world.

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