This week, we bring good news from vines of the Puglia region of Italy and take a peek at what’s in store for visitors to the Grapa stand at the Fruit Attraction Exhibition in Madrid. In addition, we share with you recent updates on the ARRA programme in Brazil.  

Southern Hemisphere: Namibia

Early Sweet™, ARRA Sweeties™(ARRA 15), ARRA Passion Star™ (ARRA 13) ARRA Passion Fire™(ARRA 29)

In Aussenkehr, Namibia, several of our growers are getting ready for the season. Namibia is one of the best areas in the world to grow table grapes, due to both microclimatic weather, isolated area from pests and funguses, as well as the marketing advantages.

Orange River Vineyards Investment CC (ORVI)

Southern Hemisphere Early Sweet ORVI Farm
Early Sweet in ORVI farm in Aussenkehr. It will be ready to harvest within a month.
Southern Hemipshere ARRA 29
ARRA 29 in ORVI farm in Aussenkehr.
Andre Vermaak reports that: “The recent climatic conditions of cool nights and warm days have been ideal for the optimal development of the fruit so far and this can be clearly seen in the berries size”. Andre adds: “In the farms of ORVI, everything is going “according to plan” although it seems like that the season will kick off with a 7 day delay in comparison to the 2019 season, but, of course, weather changes may occur along the way and could turn things around. Harvest is expected to start towards week 45/46″.
ARRA 15 in the Southern Hemisphere in Aussenkehr.
ARRA 15 in ORVI farm in Aussenkehr. Great berry size coming up as dimples will start filling and very good bunch size as well. Pictures were taken on the 14th of October.

Orange River Vineyards Investment CC (ORVI)

“With this 2020 season soon underway, we, at Solar Grapes have been gearing up for yet another early start at Aussenkehr! The team has been busy with bunch preparation, as Brix levels rise and berries grow. We will begin with our young Early Sweet blocks and if the typical desert temperature continues at 40C, sugar levels should be just right” comments Tanja Vasiljevic, Director, Marketing and Logistics at Solar Grapes. 

A beautiful shoot of Solar Grapes field in Aussenkehr, Namibia.
Southern Hemisphere Early Sweet
Solar Grapes' Early Sweet.

Tanja adds: “We are very excited to be harvesting our 3rd-year production of ARRA 15, as it is now supposed to be a “full” production. Last year’s crop was good, so we anticipate an even better, more fertile season. Berries are looking uniform and we are satisfied with the distribution of bunches”.

Southern Hemisphere Solar Grapes ARRA 15 and ARRA 13
Solar Grapes' ARRA 15 on the left and ARRA 13 on the right.

Tanja concludes by saying: “ARRA 13 appears strong and it is beginning to color. Good sizing of berries, another winning variety, from which Solar Grapes hope to see good results. We have yet to see how our ARRA 14 and ARRA 29 will perform, as both varieties are still a young crop; however, with Aussenkehr’s reputation of having the ideal climate for such varieties, we remain excited about another season!”.

Southern Hemisphere: Peru

ARRA Sweeties™(ARRA 15), ARRA Passion Fire™(ARRA 29)

Southern Hemisphere: Peru Map

We are hoping for a fruitful Peruvian ARRA season this year, but it’s still early to say.
The Harvest begins week 42, in Piura with ARRA 15. 

The regions with the largest areas of table grapes in Peru are Ica and Piura and they concentrate 80% of the total table grapes production in the country. The dry weather, sandy soil and water resources from the Andean rivers present the ideal conditions for table grape production.   

Southern Hemisphere: ARRA 15 in Cruz Verde
ARRA 15 in the field of Complejo Agroindustrial Beta S.A. located in Cruz Verde, Piura. This year they estimate to harvest 3,500 boxes of 8.2 kilos per hectare. Harvest started Tuesday 13 of October.
Complejo Agroindustrial Beta & team with ARRA Agronomist Arsenio Duarez, (third from the left).

In the region of Piura, growers can manage the date of the grape harvest in order to offer an early volume, which also benefits from a uniform offer, when supply is low from other sources.

ARRA 29 in Agricola el ABO S.A.C located in Bajo Piura is shaping up to produce a good ARRA 29 harvest. With an estimated production of 3,200 boxes of 8.2 kilos per hectare, this is their second-year after planting. Harvest is expected to start at the beginning of week 45.

ARRA 29 pictures taken in Agricola el ABO S.A.C, Piura.

The ARRA producers located in Central Peru in the regions of Ancash and Lima are expecting to harvest ARRA 15 and ARRA 29 during week 47.

Moving to the south, mainly in the region of Ica, growers are expecting to harvest during week 48 their ARRA 15 and ARRA 29.

Montveg SAC farm in the region of Ica.

In Montveg SAC’s field, ARRA 29 in its first year of production is limited to an average of 22 bunches per vine which looks very promising.

ARRA 15, also in its first year of production is showing signs of success. Montveg is expecting to harvest approximately 2,200 boxes of 8.2 kilos per hectare. 

Montveg ARRA 29 in its first year of production, just prior to tipping in Ica.

Last year November, before the Covid-19 pandemic, ARRA Varieties Breeder, Shachar Karniel and Commercial Director Nomi Karniel visited Peru’ accompanied by Karl Conrads, ARRA Agent for South America and Arsenio Duarez, ARRA Agronomist.

The Grapa Team would have liked to visit the farms again this year but, unfortunately, due to the traveling restrictions, it is not possible. However, in this video, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful images they brought with them from their last visit.

Southern Hemisphere: Australia

ARRA Sweeties™(ARRA 15)

Romeos Best, ARRA Agent in Australia, is currently harvesting ARRA 15 in Mareeba, far North Queensland. After many trials over 3 years, they have successfully, together with Grapa’s technical team, produced a magical harvest.

They credit their success to the Grapa Technical team, creating a partnership by way of weekly technical meetings via Zoom as well as with the constant exchange of WhatsApp messages.

ARRA 15 in Queensland grafted on Ramsey rootstock, the vines reached a decent growth and they adapt well to the Northern Queensland environment.

Francesca La Spina, Exec General Manager at Romeos Best Pty Ltd, says: “As a result of the success and timing of the harvest, Romeos Best Australian customers have committed to cease imports and source Australian grown fruit.”

Romeo’s Best has great confidence for the future of ARRA Table Grapes in the Australian marketplace and Australia’s geographical spread of production enabled Romeo’s Best to extraordinarily extend the growing season, normally between November to May by starting in September with the future project of aiming to grow and supply fresh grapes all year round.

Romeo's Best ARRA Sweeties™ from Queensland, harvested in September 2020.

A special thank you to ARRA Agronomist Arsenio Duarez from Grapasa Peru and Andre Vermaak, ARRA Worldwide Agronomist, for the ongoing support, as well as to Francesca La Spina, Exec General Manager at Romeo’s Best Australia and Tanja Vasiljevic, Director, Marketing and Logistics at Solar Grapes, Namibia, for the great pictures and updates from the farms.

We wish all our growers and partners in the Southern Hemisphere a very successful season.

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.