This week, we are pleased to focus on Vitacea Brasil, the new licensed nursery for the ARRA™ varieties in Brazil, and we report on some great teamwork at the ARRA breeding programme in California.

In 2003, agronomist Murillo de Albuquerque Regina, together with renowned French nurserymen Thibaud Salettes and Patrick Arsicaud, founded the nursery Vitacea Brasil.

Since its establishment, Vitacea Brasil’s main objective has been to supply pathogen-free wine and table grape seedlings of high genetic quality. To this end, the company holds licenses for the propagation of genetic material from the main European and North American grape breeders.

Production of seedlings

Occupying an area of thirty hectares, the mother blocks of rootstock and grape buds are situated at Vitacea Brasil’s headquarters in the city of Caldas in the south of the state of Minas Gerais. Approximately 1.5 million seedlings and 500,000 rooted rootstocks are produced annually to be delivered to regions in Brazil from the north to the south. A branch of Vitacea Brasil was established in Juazeiro-BA specifically for table grape varieties, including ARRA Varieties in Brazil.

Impressive seedling development in the greenhouses of Vitacea Brasil's branch in Juazerio-BA.

ARRA - A great variety for a great country

In July 2018, Vitacea Brasil became a licensed nursery for the ARRA varieties. Seedlings of ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) and the selection ARRA 12-7+5 showed excellent vigour and development in the nursery and later in the field. Today Brazilian growers are already being supplied with ARRA varieties from Vitacea Brasil.
This year, the nursery will produce an additional ARRA variety, the selection ARRA 8A-19+4.

ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) seedling with bunch
ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) at Santa Felicidade Agropecuaria
ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) production in Brazil shows the variety's abundance and quality.
Selection ARRA 12-7+5, 100 days after planting at Fruttihall Farm (Coopexvale)
Selection ARRA 12-7+5, 170 days after planting at Fruttihall Farm
Selection ARRA 12-7+5, 100 days after planting at Jailson Lira de Paiva farm (Coopexvale)
The selection ARRA 12-7+5 clearly thrives in the Brazilian climate.

Together, we make a great team

This month, following in the tradition established over the past few years, some of Grapa’s agronomists met at the ARRA breeding programme in California to work together in the spraying and treatments of the new selections with the aim of increasing the selections’ accessibility to growers worldwide, where treatments can be adapted to each region.

Keren spraying selection ARRA 8A-19+4

This year, Shachar’s technical assistant, Keren Mizrachi, who is responsible for all issues relating to analysis and evaluation of the new selections of future ARRA strains, joined Brazilian agronomist Russaika Nascimento and TopFruit‘s technical advisor Stephan Nel in California.

Russaika and selection ARRA 28-84+2
Stephan in action with selection ARRA 14A-41+4

We have successfully finished preparing the grapes for the season and we will be very happy for you to join us in the tasting experience at the next ARRA field days in California in July and August.

Next week, Grapa will be presenting ARRA varieties at the inaugural Global Grape Summit on June 5th in London. We’ll be happy to see you there!

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