In this week’s edition; we report on some outstanding selections from the most recent ARRA™ Virtual Field Days and bring you updates on the ARRA harvests in Mexico and Algeria.

Italy

Last week, Grapa held the Mid and Late ARRA Varieties webinars, consisting of six sessions held in English, French, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Portuguese. We presented the commercial and semi-commercial plantations of Giumarra Vineyards as well as the latest developments and innovations of the mid to late selections from the ARRA breeding site in Bakersfield, CA.

Brazilian ARRA growers tune into the webinars
Brazilian ARRA growers tune into the webinars

Agricola Caputo Nicola Farm - ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15)

Grapa’s Commercial Director, Nomi Karniel, says of the webinars, “Although it was the second round of the ARRA virtual tours, it felt very strange not to have the opportunity to meet face to face and to share the experience of seeing and tasting the varieties together in the field as we used to do in the ‘good old days’ before Covid-19. On the other hand, the ‘new normal’ presented the opportunity for hundreds of people, who otherwise would not have had the opportunity to be physically present at the field days, to attend the virtual ARRA field days (without the added delights of jeg-lag and 40°C heat!).”

It is our pleasure to share here with our readers two of the most promising ARRA selections that were presented in the webinars:

ARRA 94B-35+4

This is a unique, mid-season selection, where sweetness, crunchiness and striking colour meet to create a truly exceptional experience.

This eye-catching selection has been under evaluation for four years and from an agrotechnical standpoint, it is as close to perfection as you can get. As for the marketing aspect, the Giumarra sales management team didn’t hold back on their compliments for the eating quality and appearance of this selection. Giumarra Vice President of Marketing, Mimi Corsaro, remarks, “I love the unique colour because it’s a beautiful cherry red, almost like the ‘Bing’ cherry variety red colour and it’s really uniform. I think it will be a great variety.” Trial consignments have been sent to the local markets and we are looking forward to the results.

Mimi enjoys a bunch of ARRA 94B-35+4
Mimi enjoys a bunch of ARRA 94B-35+4

ARRA 93B-35+7

When thinking about a white Muscat table grape, immediately the senses become sharpened in anticipation of something special and this ARRA selection meets all expectations, delivering a unique combination of Jasmine aroma and Muscat flavour.

Grown in a semi-commercial block in Giumarra vineyards, what strikes us most about this strong ARRA selection is that because of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting lack of employees, not much work was done in the block and yet in spite of this, the results were amazing; a beautiful, unspoiled crop with no scarring, browning or physical defects. The Muscat flavour increases as the sugar level rises and we have noticed during the three years of evaluation, that the grapes maintain their shiny appearance throughout storage and shipping and arrive to their destination without cracking or shattering.

ARRA 93B-35+7 pictured
ARRA 93B-35+7 pictured on the ARD experimental breeding ranch

ARRA varieties’ breeder, Shachar Karniel, says of the ARRA Muscat programme, “There is a widespread assumption that white Muscat varieties are sensitive to browning. The reason for this assumption is that most of the white Muscats do indeed have this sensitivity. We at the ARRA Muscat programme have created a unique breeding technique to develop non-browning Muscat varieties, that are free of rub marks and have great shelf life and sweetness.”

ARRA 93B-35+7 pictured at the Giumarra commercial vineyard
ARRA 93B-35+7 pictured at the Giumarra commercial vineyard, south ranches

MEXICO

ARRA Passion Fire™ (ARRA 29)

Campos Borquez President, Pablo Borquez, remarks on the ARRA Passion Fire season as follows, “The ARRA Passion Fire continues to develop nicely in our farm. This year, the climate conditions did not favour colour, however, we saw significantly better colouring in ARRA Passion Fire compared to Flame.”

ARRA Sugar Drop™ (ARRA 30)

In Mexico, Videxport’s Director of Production, Victor Romero (pictured below), is delighted with this year’s crop, saying, “The 2020 season has been a blessed one for ARRA Sugar Drop. This is the best variety to continue with white grapes after Early Sweet. The crispness and the acid and sugar balance on this variety is hard to beat.”

ARRA Passion Fire™ (ARRA 29)

Reporting on ARRA Passion Fire, Victor says, “This season, we harvested first, second and third year crops of this variety and it is very easy to see how it improves every year. The berry size and the colour are extraordinary for a red seedless grape in this area.

Pictured above; Videxport owner, Mr Gilberto Salazar Sr. and Mr. Gilberto Salazar Jr. Victor says, "Thanks to them and their effort and dedication, it is possible to get these great results."

ARRA Sugar Drop™ (ARRA 30)

We are thrilled and delighted with Algerian ARRA grower and fruit producer, CATM’s excellent harvest of ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15). As can be seen in the pictures below, the crop produced very large, clean berries. 

Mr. Rabah Harima, President of the CATM group. CATM is the exclusive representative for commercializing ARRA varieties in Algeria.
Pictured above; Mr. Rabah Harima, President of the CATM group. CATM is the exclusive representative for commercializing ARRA varieties in Algeria.

It is with great sorrow

Last week we lost one of our best partners and producers, Mr Francesco Alabrese, President of Cooperativa ANCEO Grottaglie Terre Ioniche. A great man who carried out an outstanding job in the development and diffusion of the ARRA varieties in Taranto area, Italy. Thanks to his future-oriented and precious vision, ARRA varieties made a great step forward in Italy. His energy was unique. Ciao Franco.

ARRA Sugar Drop™ (ARRA 30)

We would like to take this opportunity to wish good luck to all the ARRA growers in Greece whose harvests have started or will be getting underway over the coming weeks.

The ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) harvest starts this week in Greece
The ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15) harvest starts this week in Greece

Don’t miss out on these other newsletters:

ARRA Cherry Crush™

The Crush Everyone’s talking about!

Tony Calvillo, Vice President of International Business Development, Dayka & Hackett LLC, shared: “Today, we visited the ARRA Cherry Crush—a grape variety that exceeds the expectations of growers, consumers, and retailers alike. We are thrilled to witness its remarkable potential. Boasting an alluring cherry colour, impressive size, abundant production, and a perfect balance of taste and crunch, ARRA Cherry Crush creates a mutually beneficial scenario for discerning producers, consumers, and retailers.”

ARRA Fire Crunch™

Igniting the senses

Just in time for the festive season, the inaugural batch of ARRA Fire Crunch™ made its way from Peru to the USA. Karl Conrads, founder, CEO of Grapasa accompanied the first year vines from budbreak all the way to Walmart facilities in Los Angeles.

Don’t miss the footage, showing this landmark arrival, now the sky’s the limit.

ARRA Passion Fire™

Sharing the passion – Right now in Southern Africa:

“It’s a great, beautiful grape, we are having a great time packing it.” shares Gabriel Viljoen of G.P. Viljoen Farming

We’ve heard other growers excited about this year’s performance.

“The ARRA Passion Fire was probably the most beautiful red grapes around on our farms.”

ARRA Fire Kiss™

Start the season with a Kiss

This year, attendees got a firsthand look at ARRA Fire Kiss™ in Egypt. What stood out was how distinctly different it was from the Flame, leaving no doubt that it is the perfect Flame replacement.