In this week’s Newsletter, we are delighted to share with you the early ARRA Varieties grown in greenhouses in the Jordan Valley of Israel. Growing the varieties in a greenhouse helps ripen the grapes even earlier. In addition, we bring you news fresh off the press from the ARRA Breeding site in California.

AJ Jansen van Vuuren, Table Grape Manager at TopFruit, the exclusive territorial agent for the commercialization of the ARRA™ Varieties and Early Sweet™ in Southern Africa, reports: “The start of the Namibian harvest has indications of very good quality thus far. We are happy with the feedback we receive on the ARRA varieties and Early Sweet as well as the benefits that these varieties bring to our producers”.

AJ continues: “In our recent visits to Namibia, we had the chance to engage with most of the ARRA and Early Sweet producers and discuss the individual varieties and the beneficial factors of each one. Most producers in Namibia have already placed their order of ARRA Honey Pop™ for the coming planting seasons. We believe that this variety will be a major contribution to this area”.

ARRA 33 (ARRA Honey Pop™)
At Solar Grapes, the season is in full swing as Aussenkehr’s table grapes can be harvested earlier than the rest of the South African regions. Tanja Vasiljevic, Director, Marketing and Logistics at Solar Grapes reports: “Yet another early start of the season for us: 10 days before the rest of the Aussenkehr valley. We began with our Early Sweet™ blocks and obtained some great XL sizing. The first few containers we shipped arrived in Europe last week and customers are very happy with the quality”.

Shortly after Early Sweet follows the harvest of the red ARRA 13 (ARRA Passion Star™) and the black ARRA 14 (ARRA Mystic Bloom™), both grown mainly in Namibia and South Africa. These varieties continue to provide good overall coloring and a very nice berry sizing.

Tanja concludes: “We started harvesting ARRA 15 (ARRA Sweeties™) this week and we are already seeing promising crop harvesting. Our ARRA Sweeties yield and sizing are one to watch; a jewel in Aussenkehr. We focused hugely on bunch prep this year and believe this will help us obtain even better-quality results from our ARRA varieties”.
ARRA 15 (left) and Early Sweet (right) from Solar Grapes
Impressive bunches with beautiful fire-colored berries. This season’s ARRA 29 from ORVI looks great and firm with large and crunchy berries. This early red is one of the ARRA varieties that is rapidly gaining good traction in Namibia thanks to its large, crisp berries, a medium-sized bunch and great eating quality.
"AS EARLY AS ARRA" - ARRA 29 crop in ORVI's field
Table Grape Specialist Andre Vermaak says:” This year the quality of ARRA Passion Fire™ is impressive. The berries are crunchy, the color is beautiful and the yield optimal. It is simply amazing, absolutely no complaints”.
ARRA 15 in ORVI's field
This year at ORVI ARRA 15 is being harvested at the same time as ARRA 29. This has been made possible by manipulating the bud break time of the vines, a process that is indeed effective when implemented on a variety like ARRA 15. Andre says: “This ARRA 15 looks fantastic. We started by harvesting only the bunches that are perfectly sweet and tasty with the right sugar/acid balance in order to ship to the UK and Europe fruit that meets all the requested quality standards”. Being able to have ARRA 15 and ARRA 29 ripening at the same time, ORVI had the ability to pack beautiful mixed punnets as we can see in the pictures below.
A match made in heaven: ARRA Sweeties and ARRA Passion Fire
Marc De Naeyer from Trofi BV, importer, distributor and solution provider for fresh produce, is due to receive the mixed ARRA Sweeties and ARRA Passion Fire punnets and told us: “Essentially when produced properly in the correct climate, especially ARRA 15 and ARRA 29 are absolute winners at both ends of the spectrum (growers and consumers alike) in a rapidly changing market where we all get used to the long array of new cultivars going commercial”.
We are delighted to see this season ARRA 29 produced by Sonop Boerdery. The eye-catching fire color and uniform loose healthy bunches along with the good eating quality, definitely give us all a winning early red grape. The future of ARRA Passion Fire seems to look really bright in Namibia.
Beautiful ARRA 29 in Sonop Boerdery (Pictures provided by TopFruit)
ARRA Sugar Drop™ is another white early and tasty variety being successfully grown in Namibia. Last week, Silverlands harvested their ARRA Sugar Drop grapes which are already on their journey overseas. This year, the weather in Namibia has been in favor of ARRA 30 and we are looking forward to good arrival and good success on the shelves of this elongate sweet & crunchy variety.
Beautiful pictures ARRA 30 from Silverlands (Pictures provided by TopFruit)
Two weeks ago, TopFruit, successfully hosted a field day in Blouputs, Northern Cape, showcasing the great potential of ARRA Honey Pop. The feedback has been very positive: the fertility is high and the fact that the vines are only 15 months old and already producing such quality is truly impressive. The block of ARRA 33, managed by Mr. Paul Dippenaar was in superb condition. The harvest of this variety began during week 48 allowing for the fruit to already be on its way to the European market. This is is the first commercial export of ARRA Honey Pop from South Africa and we are very excited.
ARRA 33 (ARRA Honey Pop) in Blouputs

AJ reports about the day:” Since the field day, we had numerous inquiries regarding ARRA Honey Pop and the availability of vines for the 2022 and 2023 planting seasons. Eating quality was described as “higher level to current early white seedless” and the low labor requirements as described by Paul on the day are all factors that are greatly contributing to the endless inquiries for this early white”.

We join AJ in thanking the Dippenaar family for their contribution, all the support in showcasing ARRA 33 as well as the hospitality.

Agricola Rapel, this season, produced a great first crop of ARRA 32 (ARRA Mystic Dream™). Located in Piura, northern Peru, this coastal region is ideal for the production of table grapes as it has abundant water resources from the Andean rivers. Its sandy soil and climate allows the crop to develop during any time of the year. Agricola Rapel achieved great results with their ARRA Mystic Dream that has already reached the UK market’s shelves. 

Optimal berry size and full black colour

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.