This week, we are excited to bring you the latest updates on the harvest of ARRA Sugar Drop™ in Australia and share the latest ARRA buzz from South Africa, on ARRA Honey Pop™: the earliest white, new-generation variety in the market today. 

Last but not least we will conclude with highlights from a whirlwind visit to Egypt, where we were invited to present our vision on the future of the Egyptian table grape industry.

Alpha Fresh Australia is a dear part of the international ARRA family and we are thrilled to see this year’s fruit from this driven Mildura (northwest Victoria) producer.

Anthony Cirillo, Director of Alpha Fresh Australia reports about this season’s ARRA Sugar Drop harvest: “This variety’s end result is looking great, proving year after year to be very well balanced, with great fertility and truly grower friendly.”

ARRA Sugar Drop freshly packed and ready to reach the supermarket's shelves

Antony further explains: “The Sugar Drop on our farm are in their second production year and what a difference from a first year vine to a second year vine has made. Along with the correct growing protocol, this variety has proven to be a winner based on the consumers feedback about the visual aspects but most importantly the super sweet taste it has and the ability to accumulate sugar even in a very cool and mild growing season.”

Anthony concludes: “Everyone is mesmerised by the look and the taste is so so sweet. Three days after we finished harvesting there is Zero stock left!”

Anthony and Bruno Cirillo's children are our favourite ARRA Sugar Drop fans!
Uniform and clean ARRA Sugar Drop produced by Tony Cavallo

Cavallo Fruit, yet another committed part of the ARRA program, is located in the region of Sunraysia in far North-West Victoria. 

Tony Cavallo, the Owner, reports: “We started picking ARRA Sugar Drop™ last week and it’s going well. The fruit, grown uncovered, held up very well through the recent bad weather with no ring or split berries.”

Tony sums it up: ”We are again pleased with the good berry size, between 19-22mm, the fruit is firm and eats well, season after season.”

Tony Cavallo in his ARRA Sugar Drop vineyards

We thank our devoted Australian growers for their faith in the ARRA varieties and for reaching such great results. Please keep on sharing the photos and your experience for all our readers worldwide to enjoy

Today, ARRA Honey Pop, is the earliest new-generation white variety in the world. Some of the greatest advantages of ARRA Honey Pop™ are its short growing cycle, ease to grow and exceptional ability to hold on the vine. 
Its productivity, size, and creamy colour, that does not change with time, make 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 flavour. 

AJ Jansen van Vuuren, Table Grape Manager at TopFruit, (the exclusive territorial agent for the ARRA™ varieties and Early Sweet™ in Southern Africa.) articulates: “I believe ARRA Honey Pop is the early white seedless variety of the future for South Africa. The variety looks excellent on the vine and on the viticultural side, this variety ticks all the boxes”.


We take this opportunity to thank the TopFruit team for introducing ARRA Honey Pop quickly and efficiently to the South African industry.

GRAPA SEMINAR EGYPT at the HEIA headquarters

In light of Global challenges and within the framework of HEIA Grape Crop Council to advise its members to be acquainted with the latest varieties, HEIA invited Grapa to hold on January 24th  a symposium discussing ARRA varieties solutions for Egypt.

HEIA (Horticultural Export Improvement Association) is an association that supports the Egyptian horticultural community; producers, exporters and suppliers with the aim of increasing exports of fresh produce through continuous improvement of quality production, marketing, training and management assistance.

Shachar Karniel, Breeder of the ARRA Varieties and President of Grapa, was asked by HEIA to speak about the world grapes market preferences and supply. The main target of the lecture was to emphasize the Egyptian table grapes export in relation to world supply and consumption.

Shachar’s presentation ‘Egyptian Table Grape Markets: Forecast, Trends and Insights’ unfolded the great potential for the Egyptian table grape growers, given the much overdue implementation of the replacement of traditional varieties with new and improved selections that match the markets evolving trends. Shachar pinpointed the most suitable ARRA varieties that will ultimately expedite export growth for the industry to regain momentum and significantly expand the destination markets’ demand for Egyptian table grapes.

Egypt’s main export is from May to July and is characterized by a majority of early white  grapes such as Early Sweet and Prime, followed by Sugraone. The red grapes exportation is about 2% of the total Egyptian export, limiting the total demand for Egyptian grapes in the month of May and June. In the last 3 years the world table grape consumption increased by 3% while the Egyptian export decreased by 2.8%. The gap in supply is filled by Spain and Sicily.

The main reason for the reduction in demand for Egyptian grapes is due to the lack of early red and black varieties. For this exact void, Shachar presented to the audience the premium selection of very early and early red, black and white varieties ideal for satisfying the market demand.

Eng. Fayez Dowidar gave an in-depth description of the new selections followed by photos from semi and commercial farms worldwide. Rafi Karniel, Grapa CEO, closed the event by announcing the marketing strategy of the ARRA varieties for Egypt. 

Shachar presenting his lecture to the participants

Medhat El Meligy, Agriculture Service Manager at HEIA, reports after the lecture: “Mr. Shachar Karniel, with his 35 years’ experience in Egypt, displayed different varieties of Grapes in terms of the fruit colour and harvesting times”.

Medhat continues: “Mr. Karniel illustrated the characteristics of these varieties in light of their high quality, and shelf life ability which facilitates shipping operations to far-away markets, like for example, Southeast Asia”.

Medhat describes the special atmosphere: “Mr. Shachar Karniel gathered the admiration of a large number of members, who showed great interest especially after he highlighted the 3% increase of global demand in 2021, encouraging the Egyptian producers to increase and diversify their production”.

Full house at HEIA headquarters

Grapa would like to thank HEIA’s Table Grapes Council Chairman, Mr. Amr ElBeltagy and HEIA’s Agriculture Service Manager, Mr. Medhat El Meligy for the warm welcome and the opportunity to present the new selection of ARRA varieties that already show great adaptation to the Egyptian environment.
Special thanks to Mrs. Iman Kamel, HEIA Executive Director, for the impeccable organization of this impressive and significant day that put the spotlight on the bright possibilities that the future holds for the Egyptian industry.

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.