This week, we share with you Shachar’s experiences of his recent visit to the beautiful region of Occitanie in France where he visited both the ancient town of Moissac and ARRA™ growers at Blue Whale and Chasselas de Moissac association.

ARRA Varieties in France: a class of its own

ARRA Varieties in France

The beautiful town of Moissac is the home of the vintage grape variety Chasselas de Moissac.The Chasselas de Moissac grape is the oldest protected designation of origin (AOP) of fresh fruit in France, receiving the AOP in 1971. Only two hundred and thirty producers are licensed to grow Chasselas de Moissac over an area of five hundred hectares on the hillsides surrounding the town of Moissac.

Blue Whale – The host of the ARRA test block:  ARRA Varieties in France

Blue Whale is a group of three hundred producers based around the agricultural areas of the Loire Valley, Provence and the Alps in France. The company commercializes 230,000 tons of fresh fruit: apples, pears, kiwis, plums and grapes around over seventy countries.

ARRA varieties in France

The ARRA test blocks of Blue Whale are to be found in the heart of the Chasselas de Moissac vineyards. The varieties cultivated are ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15), ARRA Passion Glow™ (ARRA 19), ARRA Passion Punch™ (ARRA 28), ARRA Sugar Drop™ (ARRA 30) and ARRA Mystic Dream™ (ARRA 32).

ARRA Varieties in France
From left: Blue Whale technical advisor, Jacques Joulie and Gilles Adgie, technician from Chasselas de Moissac Growers' Association.

Chasselas de Moissac Variety

The Chasselas de Moissac grapes are virtually hand-nurtured and are available for a short season which runs from late August through to the first week of November. The Chasselas de Moissac grape is unique; its special aroma and taste result in an exceptional eating experience.

ARRA Varieties in France
ARRA Varieties in France
ARRA Varieties in France

The Blue Whale and the Chasselas de Moissac association dedicated team of research and development are in charge of the development and evaluation and testing of over more than two hundred varieties of apples, plums and grapes in experimental orchards and vineyards, the new ARRA varieties test block will be supervised by the team as well.

ARRA Varieties in France

At the moment, in this early stage, it appears that the ARRA varieties are well adapted to this unique environment of light summer rains and high humidity.

The construction and the progress of the vines’ growth in the test block indicates seriousness and dedication. The early growth and the vines’ fertility gives us hope in its great potential.

Our grateful thanks to Blue Whale and the Chasselas de Moissac association for their warm hospitality while hosting Shachar and their belief in the ARRA programme.

They’re out!

Have you checked your inbox lately? The invitations for the 2019 ARRA Field Days have been sent out – be sure to register!