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This week we introduce you to ARRA 33, a very early white variety from the ARRA Program. Newly planted in different countries worldwide, this variety is rapidly gaining appreciation amongst those who grow it and those who have already seen it.

Today, ARRA 33, is the variety most similar in characteristic to Early Sweet™, ripening one week earlier. One of the great advantages of ARRA 33 is its short growing cycle and high level of crunchiness. Its productivity, size, and creamy color that does not change with time makes it the perfect very early variety to grow. In addition to being free of shot berries, this variety is characterized by its outstanding eating quality with extreme crunchiness and a hint of Muscat flavor. ARRA 33 is very grower-friendly and ideal for producers that are increasingly looking for ways to improve profit margins on the varieties that they select to commercialize.

ARRA 33 in Israel

ARRA 33 had very positive feedback and was well received by the market based on its clean appearance, snappy texture and light easy-to-eat flavor.

ARRA 33 in Israel is showing initial signs of success while orders for next planting season are increasing daily. Uzi Yaron, Grapa Varieties R&D Director, shares his passion for this variety: “At the end of January 2018, ARRA 33 was released from quarantine and arrived directly to my farm. From the two seedlings received, I prepared ten vines, that same winter, in order to have virus-free material to complete a trial plot. At the same time, I grafted ten vines as I wanted to test the performances of the variety. I got busy and I have to admit that, eventually, I forgot about these ARRA 33 vines. A few months later, I was on my way to the vineyard and didn’t know what to expect as I didn’t apply any special treatment to any of the plants”.

ARRA 33 vines grafted last year in South Israel.
ARRA 33 vines grafted last year in South Israel.
ARRA 33 plantation in South Israel.
ARRA 33 plantation in South Israel.

Uzi continues; “I didn’t trim the bunches, I didn’t apply any fertilizer and the only gibberellin that the plants may have received was from the residue of the application given to the nearby vineyard!”.  
The story has a happy ending: “Looking at the vines, I was pleasantly surprised to find uniform creamy bunches with such sweet and crunchy berries. To top it off, it was so early in the season. Today, as a result, we have 7 hectares of ARRA 33 planted”.

The positive feedback continues arriving all the way from Egypt. Mokhles Harraz, Owner of Agrostar and member of NFC, ARRA Agent in Egypt, is happy with the results achieved so far in his farm. He comments: “We at Agrostar believe that ARRA 33 is a promising variety due to its muscat flavor and serious crunchiness. More than that, it ripens early, easy to grow, creamy in color and lastly has good berry shape and size”.

ARRA 33 in Agrostar Farms
ARRA 33 in Agrostar Farms
ARRA 33 in Agrostar Farms

AJ Jansen van Vuuren, Table Grape Manager at TopFruit, articulates: “I believe ARRA 33 is the early white seedless variety of the future for South Africa. The variety looks excellent on the vine and so far, the cold storage evaluation looks great. The viticultural side of this variety ticks all the boxes. We will be shipping out this variety as soon as there are available grapes.”

ARRA 33 planted in Sweet Sensation Farm's test block
ARRA 33 planted in Sweet Sensation Farm's test block

Shachar Karniel, the ARRA Varieties breeder says: “Since the ’90s, when Early Sweet started to be commercialized worldwide, we at Grapa, understood the shift in farm labor which brought us to find the ideal replacement for Early Sweet. ARRA 33 is the ultimate solution being that it is as close in characteristics to Early Sweet but more cost-efficient to produce.

Shachar highlights: “We developed a variety that adapts to different climate conditions without shot berries. I feel that with ARRA 33 I accomplished one of my mission: producing the ultimate very early white seedless variety. ARRA 33 is grower friendly, it is fertile and has excellent eating quality.”

The first commercial crop of ARRA 33 from California was marketed last season with great success and to the satisfaction of the marketers. Such an early variety with a short growing cycle to develop a firm strong berry with high sugar and a hint of muscat flavor truly make this variety the full package.  

Semi commercial block of ARRA 33 in Giumarra's Vineyards, California.
Semi commercial block of ARRA 33 in Giumarra's Vineyards, California.

In Jupiter’s latest podcast “New table grape variety development in Chile”, Steve Barker, Jupiter’s Commercial Director and Cristian Metzger, Jupiter’s Technical director, speak about last year’s harvest of ARRA Sweeties™. 
Click here to listen to the podcast.

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