We’re grateful for our wonderful group of talented, motivated and good-hearted people, who help us steer Grapa into the future with professionalism, passion and dedication. Our great team has a true international flavour, with staff coming from many countries, including; Brazil, Canada, Cuba, Finland, France, England, Germany, Italy, Romania, and the United States.

Shachar Karniel


Shachar is the breeder of ARRA™ and Early Sweet™ table grape varieties. As a 4th generation farmer whose family have been producing grapes since 1882, Shachar’s vast experience in table grape agriculture led him to launch and manage the breeding programme at Giumarra Vineyards Corporation under its subsidiary, ARD LLC (Agriculture Research & Development). Shachar develops innovative table grape varieties, the best of which are commercialized globally by Grapa Varieties under the ARRA brand.

Rafi Karniel


Rafi is the driving force behind Grapa’s vision, goals and corporate strategy. Since his appointment as CEO in 2009, he has led Grapa’s remarkable growth and evolution. Rafi holds a B.A. in Law and a Masters in Law and Business Management. In April 2017, Rafi was elected to the Board of CIOPORA, an international breeders’ association. With Rafi’s vision to consolidate and unite industry stakeholders to enforce global IP protection, The Breeders’ Alliance Company was born in 2019. As one of the four founding members, Rafi holds a Board seat as well.

Nomi Karniel-Padan

Commercial Director

Utilizing her vast experience in international marketing, together with a childhood spent in the family vineyards, Nomi leads Grapa’s marketing and brand positioning strategy, ensuring Grapa’s place in the international table grape industry as a leading company in the development and commercialization of new table grape varieties. Nomi has a B.A. in Marketing.

Adi Karniel


Together with Shachar, Adi develops the future ARRA varieties under the auspices of the ARD breeding programme.

Vered Karniel

Finance Director

As well as directing our financial department, Vered manages the logistics of all of Grapa’s extensive international travel and affairs abroad.

Uzi Yaron

R & D Director

Uzi is an agronomist and highly experienced farmer, holding degrees in political science, history and plant science. He has worked very closely with the ARRA programme and Karniel family for the past twenty years. Utilizing his vast experience and knowledge, Uzi contributes to the creation of new growing techniques and their implementation. As Grapa’s R&D Director, Uzi supports all of Grapa’s technical matters worldwide.

Alexandra Sapir

Legal Affairs Director

As head of Grapa’s legal department, Alexandra is responsible for all aspects of international legal affairs, enforcement of IP rights and all contractual agreements. She holds a B.A. in Law and a Master in Business Administration.   In October 2020, Alexandra was appointed as Chair of the Working Group on Enforcement of CIOPORA, an international breeders’ association.

Élise Schrall

Executive Assistant/Paralegal

Elise executes a broad range of support functions in the Legal Department; from drafting contractual agreements under the guidance and direction of the Legal Affairs Director, to maintaining up to date records of Grapa’ s licensees worldwide. Elise holds a Master of Laws from Bond University, Australia and a Master of Laws from Sorbonne University, France.

Emma Toledano

Intellectual Property Manager

Emma manages the IP Portfolio of the table grape varieties represented by Grapa, including the registration of patents, plant breeders’ rights and trademarks. She holds an LLB (hons) in Law and has 20 years’ experience in the IP field.

Sherry Freudenreich

Data Administrator

Sherry carries out an array of administrative duties of the legal affairs department.

Lukas Weindorf

Legal Data Coordinator

Lukas is responsible for collecting and processing plantation data reports related to our licensed growers. Additionally he is in charge of the Gesvatec labeling system which allows for worldwide traceability of the varieties that Grapa represents.

Ilona David

Financial Data Operator

Ilona is responsible for an array of administrative duties in the finance department including updating financial records, processing invoices and preparing cost analysis reports.

Liz Shani

Agrotechnical Analyst

Liz manages the compilation and analysis of worldwide QC reports and is responsible for the identification, collection and analysis of relevant agrotechnical research material. In addition, Liz is responsible for monitoring the ARRA test blocks, motherblocks and nursery stock worldwide.

Keren Mizrahi

Technical Support Coordinator

Keren is in charge of the breeding program’s technical data analysis as well as the technical department’s projects and presentations. She coordinates the agrotechnical support to the ARRA varieties’ growers around the world. Keren holds a B.Sc. in Plant Science.

Gal Yaari

Agrotechnical Admin. Manager

Gal manages the coordination of the technical department’s activities and provides agrotechnical assistance to Grapa’s new projects and developments. Gal is an agronomist and holds a B.Sc. in Plant Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Leticia Silva

Technical Data Coordinator

Leticia is responsible for the analysis, processing and recording of all Grapa’s agrotechnical data collected from our licensees and partners worldwide. She is in charge of creating diverse technical material and reports

Gaby Mitrani

Agrotechnical Coordinator

Gaby coordinates all international shipping and quarantine procedures and is responsible for the data analysis of test block evaluations worldwide. Gaby holds a B.Sc. in Microbiology from the University of Havana, Cuba.

Tammy Aviad-Eshel

Business Development Manager

Tammy manages the networking of Grapa’s ever growing business opportunities; extending, strengthening and maximizing the company’s horizons worldwide.

Nicole Klein

Project Manager

Nicole coordinates the planning and execution of several of Grapa’s projects.

Erika Rosi

Marketing Manager

Erika is managing Grapa’s marketing campaigns, social media and the communication with Grapa’s clients.

Gittel Marcus

Design Developer

Gittel manages Grapa’s data architecture and visualization, together with CRM customization, web design and IT administration. In addition, she is responsible for the graphic design of all our marketing materials.