This week we bring you updates from Greece where in addition to the already commercialized ARRA™ varieties, new promising selections are currently under evaluation. Moreover, we will introduce two new additional ARRA licensed Nurseries.
Updates from Kavala, Greece
Kavala is the largest table grape growing region in northern Greece, distinguished by an optimal climate where vine cultivation is ideal for the late harvest.
The Jupiter team is working closely with farmers in Kavala to cultivate the already commercial ARRA varieties as well as the new very promising selections currently under evaluation.
Jupiter is the master license holder for the ARRA™ varieties in Greece and it continues to expand its portfolio of new table grape varieties for its Greek production base. The new varieties, which will be solely marketed through Jupiter, will boast an improved taste and great eating quality; setting them apart from the more traditional varieties grown in Greece.
Senior procurement manager at Jupiter, Dimitris Theodorou says: “It has been fantastic to see the development of these exceptional new varieties over the last year or so. I am very impressed with their growth and for the close attention that has been paid by our on-farm team.”
Jupiter’s head of grapes, Damian Sutherland added: “We were excited to see how these new variety table grapes adapted to the conditions in Greece and we are very satisfied. The developments on the farm this year are the first-rate and we are expecting even better results than our previous seasons. Damian concludes: “With our exclusive ARRA varieties and superb quality table grapes, we’re excited for the 2021/22 season ahead.”
The varieties currently grown commercially in Greece include ARRA Sweeties™ (ARRA 15), ARRA Passion Glow™ (ARRA 19), ARRA Mystic Dream™ (ARRA 32) and we look forward to seeing the new varieties currently under evaluation planted commercially.
A promising variety that we have been waiting to see in Greece, is ARRA 17A-14+2. This selection has shown very good results in many regions around the world and we are anticipating its success in Greece as well and we look forward to seeing it established in Greece.
ARRA 17A-14+2 is a delicious red late selection that has a great yield, large crispy berries and is grower friendly. One of the great qualities of this variety is its extended shelf-life: it can easily hold for a couple of months in cold storage while maintaining green rachis and without losing its flavor. Along with its excellent eating quality, and beautiful appearance makes ARRA 17A-14+2 one of the most preferred late selections from the new generation of the ARRA varieties.
The nursery commits to supply certified plant material free from pathogens that are produced under high hygienic standards. We are happy to partner up with Fassoulis Nurseries and we are confident that they will be able to supply our Greek producers with top-notch ARRA plant material.
Updates from Egypt
This coming week the Grapa team will be visiting Egypt and they can not wait to meet with the ARRA & Early Sweet producers after more than a year of not traveling due to Covid-19 and the related restrictions. The El Minya oasis in Egypt, located in south Cairo on the western bank of the Nile River, is well known for its extreme daytime temperatures as well as very hot nights. In such conditions, it is challenging for red grapes to develop sufficient color as well as to obtain berry crunchiness.
Despite the weather challenges, we received an excellent report from Daltex For Agricultural Development (S.A.E) that ARRA Passion Fire™ (ARRA 29) is developing excellent crunchiness as well as its full red color. The team at Daltex will start the harvest in a few days time and we are truly excited to see and taste the final product.
During the upcoming trip to Egypt, the Grapa team will pay a visit to the new ARRA licensed Nursery Abou Aly Nurseries. Abou Aly Nurseries is a family-owned and managed operation established in the 1980s by Mr. Alaa Abou Aly, a third-generation farmer and a pioneer nurseryman in the industry. It was one of the first commercial nurseries established in Egypt with a long history of propagation. The nursery started with the propagation of apples and stone fruit trees, and today is considered the leading grafted vines nursery in Egypt. Abou Aly Nurseries has forged lasting relationships with the world’s leading fruit tree nurseries and breeding programs in South Africa, Chile, Europe and the USA.
Seif concludes: “Recognizing the need for delivering new products to the industry and the importance of assisting our breeding partners to develop and fast-track their newest grape varieties in Egypt, we have invested in a new state-of-the-art automated and climate-controlled greenhouse. The greenhouse will produce our new grafted green potted vines grown in a soil-free media; allowing our growers the flexibility of having two planting seasons in the same year”. We look forward to productive cooperation with the team at Abou Aly Nurseries.
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