In this edition we will continue with the ARRA varieties harvest in Egypt, where the ARRA™ Red Factor is shining through and through. Then, don’t miss some ARRA Egypt Field Day teasers. We will continue with highlights of the early birds’ harvest in Morocco. If you haven’t yet registered for the ARRA California Field days, see the newsletter finale for more relevant information.

ARRA BUZZ

Everything is ready and in place for the ARRA Egypt Field Days that will be held in the coming week, on Tuesday and Wednesday, 13-14 June. Our guests will experience a feast for the senses, with beautiful, colourful and delicious, very early and early ARRA varieties that the attendees will meet on the vine and in the box.
 
Shachar Karniel, the ARRA varieties’ breeder and Nomi Karniel-Padan, Grapa’s Commercial Director visited Egypt a few days ago as part of the event preparations. They toured the commercial ARRA varieties at Agrostar farms, as well as the new generation beauties in their impressive ARRA varieties’ trial block.
 
Among others, they saw gorgeous bunches of the ARRA Passion Fire™, ARRA Sugar Drop™ and ARRA Honey Pop™ varieties and updated us from the field:
 
“The amazing ARRA Passion Fire commercial plots will be harvested this coming week. The berries are truly beautiful, large (24 mm calibre) and delightfully crunchy. All the berries and bunches look exactly the same. The yield is also very impressive, with about 20 tons per feddan (acre).”

Mokhles Harraz and his daughter Halla with Agrostar’s ARRA Passion Fire

Shachar recounts: “The ARRA Sugar Drop plot that we visited already had the first harvest pass a few days ago. The remaining bunches, waiting for slightly higher sugar, will be harvested in the coming days. Mokhles Harraz emphasized that from 17 Brix and up the flavour is great, but below this, one will not be able to enjoy the delightful flavour. The results are amazing, this is exactly how this variety should look and taste!”

Agrostar ARRA Sugar 

The ARRA Honey Pop too, met everyone’s expectations: very high crop, pleasingly high sugar level, optimally 17 Brix and above with full, uniform bunches.

ARRA Honey Pop at Technogreen

ARRA Mystic Charm™ (ARD 41)

As you can see in this picture, a true charmer at the test block is the ARRA Mystic Charm variety.

This very early variety, has a deep natural black berry that offers a sweet flavour and satisfying, crunchy eating quality. It is extremely easy to grow and its high yielding, beautiful vines, display very uniform shoot development that provide a great hanging ability.

ARRA RED FACTOR

More than anything in Egypt, Shachar and Nomi were excited about the impact of the ARRA Red Factor.
In each edition, we focused on one of the ARRA Red Factor varieties, giving you a better understanding of that variety’s qualities and advantages. This week we will zoom out and better illustrate the entire sequence, as it manifests itself, so remarkably in Egypt.

During the visit to the Test Blocks for the new varieties, the Grapa team saw how this red variety timeline works and how beneficial it can be for a grower and then throughout the supply chain. To put it simply, one after another, these red ARRA varieties, from very early to mid-late optimize the season, each with their special characteristics, that the producer will easily grow and the consumer will enjoy for a stretched and consistent season.

So come see for yourselves the ARRA world wonders in Egypt.

Early Birds

Now, staying on the southern shores of the Mediterranean, we are so glad to bring you news from Morocco.
 
Andre Vermaak, Grapa’s Global Technical Support Advisor, has visited Morocco multiple times over the year, supporting the growers throughout the growing stages. As the harvest starts, he provides his perspective on the coming 2023 season:

“Morocco experienced a bit of a late winter. They had late snowfall, also nice rainfall, in January, February up to March that delayed the harvest. Nonetheless, this was a blessing for the reservoirs after five to six years of drought.”
 
On the pruning strategies implemented this year, Andre shares his insights. “The difference between the early and the later pruning were evident. The later pruning clearly lead to a higher yield, mostly due to the colder March weather.”
 
Overall the varieties such as: Early Sweet™, ARRA Passion Fire™ and ARRA Sugar Drop™, have really achieved good production. Andre explains: “The growers followed the Grapa growing protocols, resulting in very high quality fruit, uniform bunches, as well as good berry size”.
 
Growers in the Marrakesh region started harvesting during the first week of June, and Andre foresees a great opportunity for the early ARRA varieties in Morocco.

Andre Vermaak and Mikhael Levy, ARRA representative with Delassus team during his last visit in Morocco, in May

Delassus Group

This year for the first time, the impact of climatic change on grapes yield in particular and on all agricultural products in general, has become apparent. More extreme temperatures last summer and changing precipitations patterns altered production, especially in the Taroudant region that became extremely hot, posing many challenges. Last year’s hot weather clearly influenced this season’s yield resulting in a delay of 10 days in harvesting.

Fatiha Charrat, Deputy Managing Director, shares the Delassus Group approach: “we are increasingly adopting modification and mitigation strategies, such as implementing sustainable farming practices, exploring new grape varieties, adjusting vineyard management techniques, and employing climate modelling to anticipate future changes and make informed decisions. For example we are considering different growing areas and believe that varieties like ARRA Passion Fire will be able to adapt to new regions, with the appropriate production management corresponding to the type of soil, the micro climate and the desired period of maturation”. 

ARRA Passion Fire Delassus

Many of the ARRA varieties have short cycles (between 90-100 days), this together with Grapa’s unique vineyard preparation model, give a very good solution, in such times of changing weather, untimely climatic challenges and regions with extreme conditions.

Societe Agricole Guiro

With great collaboration between Andre and the Giuro technical team in the Taroudant region, good results have been achieved with the ARRA Passion Fire, with its beautiful fire red colour and good size.

Guiro ARRA Passion Fire

The results of the ARRA Sugar Drop crop are also noteworthy with beautiful bunches and crunchy sweet berries.
 
Sabri Hicham, Technical Manager of the cooperative Zaouia/Vita Souss, tells us more about the last week: “We started harvest on June 5 and finished on the 9th, at the end the brix was an average of 19.”
After the packing process, the produce looked exceptional and the Guiro team report that both the ARRA Sugar Drop and ARRA Passion Fire berries are crunchier than the previous season. As you read these lines the grapes are en-route to their main destination-Germany.

Guiro ARRA Sugar Drop

It’s no secret that this seemingly modest variety is becoming more and more popular as people truly appreciate its sweet, elegant, elongated berries, with extraordinary eating quality. Although it is enjoyed in other countries, it is a real celebrity in Italy, where its creamy hue, delightful texture and sweetness have made it a most popular early white in great demand. This was expressed by Alessandro Barbera, founder, owner and general manager of the Sicilian based Barbera Group, in an article recently published in numerous fresh produce magazines.
For the full article click here.

Want to see for yourself? stay tuned for details of the upcoming ARRA Field Day in Sicily!

California Field Days: the best place to see the full ARRA range, including the newly launched varieties, during the weeks of July 10th and August 21st. This year in Bakersfield, throughout these weeks, we will be offering small group visits to optimize your ARRA journey.
Registration for the July and August ARRA field days has started, so if you haven’t yet received an invite, contact us at grapa@grapaes.com for details and registration.

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