This week we bring you updates on the harvest of Early Sweet™, which is currently underway in Egypt, as well as news from the ARRA™ & Early Sweet producers in Mexico.

It is EARLY and SWEET

Early Sweet is a white seedless variety that is the first of the season to ripen. The berries are round to oval in shape with a good size of 18 – 22mm and it is at its best with a Brix between 16.5 to 17.5. Thanks to its unique light Muscat flavor combined with its productiveness and long shelf life, it is, for many years, a leading variety in today’s market.

Early Sweet in EGYPT

One of the secrets to the success of the Egyptian Early Sweet growers is maintaining the perfect balance between high fruit quality and harvest timing at ideal sugar levels. The Early Sweet licensees in Egypt maintains high-quality grapes and packaging by way of outstanding quality control. The Early Sweet importers in Europe very much appreciate and respect this level of high quality.

The table grapes season of the Northern Hemisphere began with the delicious Early Sweet from Egypt. Technogreen’s Elkatta Farm Manager, Mostafa Hassan reports: “The high average temperatures this season contributed to the early ripening of the Early Sweet variety as well as improving the quality of the fruit through good natural thinning of the bunches, which is very encouraging from a marketing perspective”.
GRAPAES (Early Sweet) due to be harvested in Technogreen’s Elkatta Farm
Eng. Fayez Dowidar, Director of the grape sector at Technogreen, added: “As a result of the increase in temperatures and the high natural thinning this season, the number of berries per bunch is less compared to previous years. Despite this, the Early Sweet grapes grown by Technogreen maintain their high quality through the seasons”.
The Early Sweet growers in Egypt continuously prove their high standards by producing excellent quality grapes with high Brix levels and good results, keeping Early Sweet in high demand. FATA owner, Mr. Hamdy Fayed, reports: “Early Sweet proves itself year after year to be the earliest white seedless variety produced in Egypt which gives us the chance to fulfill, after India, the market demand with fresh and tasty white grapes. In general, the crop this year has an average load due to weather changes but we are adapting to this global phenomenon”.
FATA’s GRAPAES (Early Sweet) just before harvest
FATA’s GRAPAES (Early Sweet) just before harvest
Mahmoud El Shishiny, Commercial Director at Magrabi Agriculture (Mafa) comments:” Early Sweet is the first Egyptian white grape variety arriving in the European market, especially in Germany and Holland. Without Early Sweet, several supermarkets programs would face a gap in their supply”. Mahmoud continues: “We have been working for over a decade with major European retailers opening the season with Early Sweet. The variety is well received by the market and so far performed really well commercially”. Mahmoud adds: “In recent years, Mafa also started exporting Early Sweet to the African and Asian markets and although the main destination remains Europe, we are now building the name of the Early Sweet variety in other countries like Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa”.
Freshly harvested and packed Early Sweet by MAFA
Mr. Mohamed Ashraf, PICO Operations Director, says about this season: “We started harvesting Early Sweet during the second week of May and although the weather has been a challenge during bud break and influenced the fertility of the vines, the fruit size is good with early Brix measures”.
FATA’s GRAPAES (Early Sweet) just before harvest
Freshly harvested and looking good!

Last but not least pictures of Early Sweet from Blue Nile. 

Early Sweet and ARRA Varieties harvest in Mexico

Gilberto Salazar Sr. established Videxport company 30 years ago growing in top-quality vineyards. Videxport is a large producer of Early Sweet and ARRA Varieties.
Victor Romero is the farm’s technical manager who follows Grapa’s Early Sweet protocol closely, expertly adapting it where necessary to suit the farm’s location and microclimate.

Videxport GRAPAES (Early Sweet) top quality vineyards
Gilberto Salazar Jr and Gilberto Salazar 2nd holding the very first box of Early Sweet harvested this 2021 season.
Victor reports on this current season: “This year, the Mexican grapes’ harvest is not as early as it usually is as the production cycle was extended due to weather conditions. However, the grapes are of very good quality. Regarding the market, the demand is high for green grapes and the prices are expected to remain good”.
Luis Carlos Salazar the new generation of the Salazar family in an ARRA 30 vineyard
Approximately 20 days away from harvest, ARRA Sugar Drop™ (ARRA 30) in Videxport is looking very promising. When harvested at the right time with the optimal sugar levels and crunchiness, ARRA Sugar Drop™ will have an amazing eating experience. We can not wait to update you during the coming weeks about this season’s harvest of ARRA Sugar Drop™ in Mexico.

Campos Borquez was founded in 1986 by Pablo Borquez, a third-generation farmer from Sonora, Mexico. The company grew into an important agricultural company with high-quality export supply of Asparagus and Grapes.

The harvest of the Early Sweet variety has started at Campos Borquez. The grapes are hand-picked only at the peak of their flavor. That way, its natural crispy sensation and a hint of Muscat flavor can be shown off while enjoying a longer shelf life.
Campo Borquez handpicked quality
Luis Felipe Montes, General Manager at RIOblanco Mexico reports: “It has been a challenging year for us at RIOblanco, due to the low temperatures during bud break, however, we predict a good year in terms of prices, especially for ARRA Sugar Drop™ (ARRA 30), which we expect to start harvesting around the 20th of this month.

Luis Felipe adds: “At present, we have two ARRA varieties in commercial production, which are the ARRA Passion Fire™ and the ARRA Sugar Drop™, with 2016 being the year of the oldest plantation. Today we are testing other ARRA varieties in our trial plot, which we hope to be able to plant commercially in the coming years”.
RIOblanco ARRA 30 will be harvested approximately in 10 days
Luis Felipe continues saying: “For us as RIOblanco, the ARRA program is very important since it allows us to be able to produce varieties of different flavors and with an earliness that is difficult to find in the market. This year, we celebrate 30 years of contributing to the development of the table grape industry in Mexico, and I think that with the mix of varieties that ARRA currently offers we will be able to plan the future allowing us to supply good quality grapes for many more years to come”.
Virtual Field Day 2021

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