This week we are excited to open the edition with an early glimpse of what will be experienced at the July ARRA Field Days in the coming days. Not less exciting is the news from Australia. Our teams in Brazil and Italy held focussed field days for ARRA Cherry Crush™ and ARRA Sugar Drop™.

California – It’s time for ARRA Field Days

Here we are, only a few days before the July ARRA field days. There will be much to see, so here’s a sneak peek of the ARRA breeding site:

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In case you won’t be making it in July and are interested in the upcoming August field day, contact us for more details and registration at grapa@grapaes.com

Australian News

The ARRA programme now has a representative to the Australian continent!

It has taken some time to acclimate to this huge continent that can have both extreme and very inconsistent climatic conditions. With fine tuning, patience, and some really professional and driven growers and fans, we can now say that the ARRA programme has much to offer to the diverse growing areas of Australia. These regions, that differ in growing conditions and cycle timing, can truly benefit from the ARRA range, that is known for its adaptability to diverse conditions, short growing cycles and tolerance to rain.

Stephan Nel with Rafi Karniel - Old Friends

To optimally support the ARRA growers and ensure the smooth introduction of the newest generation ARRA varieties to Australia, Grapa has appointed Stephan Nel, as the representative in Australia. Stephan is an experienced professional with a wealth of knowledge in table grapes and in the ARRA varieties.

He began working with the ARRA varieties in South Africa, as a technical advisor at TopFruit (the exclusive territorial agent for the ARRA™ varieties and Early Sweet™ in Southern Africa) and then continued working with the ARRA varieties after moving to Australia.

Stephan will ensure a smooth and efficient flow of communication with licensed producers, marketers, and nurseries. He will manage the propagation and distribution of plant material and will provide the necessary technical support to help the ARRA plantations thrive.

Grapa Adventures to Far North Queensland

Grapa’s R & D Director, Uzi Yaron, has been flying around the world non-stop this year. His latest destination was at the end of June to Far North Queensland, Australia where he spent an intensive 5 days working with the Romeo’s Best team.

There are many challenges in growing in a tropical climate. Very heavy summer rains make the vines grow out of control and then it’s difficult to get in with sprayers, not to mention the high disease pressures. This past summer was especially wet in FNQ, so even Romeo’s Best later blocks had some issues with bud break and fruit quantity.

Ulrich continues: “The ARRA Sweeties™ variety is grower-friendly, but we face challenges as the growth cycle in FNQ is so quick that we struggle to feed our vine properly and to keep up with the development of the vine. Nonetheless, the results reached this season were even better than previous seasons, which were also good, but this year we managed to eliminate some of the previous years’ mistakes. We are definitely on the right path and appreciate Grapa’s support and guidance. I’m just excited, we’re going to go ahead and keep getting better and better!”

ARRA Sweeties bunches at Romeo's Best FNQ (photo credits to Uzi!)
Packing the ARRA Sweeties in the field
ARRA Sweeties - bagged and boxed
Lindsay and Tony Romeo, not only pleased to meet Uzi.. the harvest is something to smile about!
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Don’t miss what Glenn Egan, Romeo’s Best Head of Sales, has to say about ARRA Sweeties.

Brazil can’t get enough of ARRA Cherry Crush™

ARRA Cherry Crush is showing great success with growers and consumers. For the producers it holds 3 great advantages: first, it is an easy variety to grow, second it is rain resistance and third, it is one of the only varieties that can be pruned twice a year. This makes it possible to harvest twice a year and in the first semester (February-April) to fill the worldwide red varieties market gap. The consumers, too, have started to recognize the special taste, cherry red colour and enjoyable sweetness. What the consumer doesn’t know is that this is due to the ease of reaching 20-23 brix, accompanied by a full, natural deep colour.

ARRA Cherry Crush Bunches, do you see the crunch and sweetness?

The plantation of this striking variety is increasing extensively in Brazil, with significant production foreseen mainly in the second semester (October-November) of this year. The interest is immense as this is exactly what the growers of the Sao Francisco valley were seeking.

This is the atmosphere in which the Grapa Brazil team, held a field day on 1 July, dedicated to the ARRA Cherry Crush variety at Special Fruit’s Arace farm. About 200 growers, field managers and commercial managers attended, to partake in the discussion about all the aspects of crop management as well as commercial considerations. Mr. Hemerson Rodrigues, the agronomist of Special Fruit, presented all the steps that he implemented to get the excellent yield and quality that was seen in the field. The attendees also benefited from focal points addressed by Augusto Prado, President of Grapa Brazil, as well as Mr. Newton Matsumoto, the esteemed advisor.

The Special Fruit Team with Augusto Pardo
The Grapa Brazil team with Aqua do Brasil (left); and with Avant Agroquimica (right)

Especially memorable were the words of Mr. Roberto Carvalho, the Commercial Manager of Special Fruit, who shared: “We are getting better prices per box for ARRA Cherry Crush compared to all the other varieties. We’ve already almost sold all the grapes of the first semester.”

At the end of the event, Mr. Suemi Koshiyama, the founder of Special Fruit, communicated with his great knowledge and experience that everybody must work together to protect and maintain the good quality, reputation, and profitability of this variety.

Mr. Suemi Koshiyama addressing the attendees.

Grapa Brazil would like to thank the sponsors, Avant Agroquimica, Aqua do Brasil and Go Studios, as well as convey our immense gratitude to Mr. Suemi and Toshio Koshiyama for opening their farm for this event and to all the Special Fruit team: Hemerson, Eduardo, Geraldo and Roberto for their care and professionalism throughout.

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Click here to see the Brazil Field Day in motion!

ARRA Field Day in Sicily - Celebrating Varietal Innovation™

On June 29th, the ARRA Field Day, organized by AVI (the exclusive territorial representative for the ARRA™ varieties in Europe) and OP Valleverde (Novello & C), in collaboration with authorized Sicilian distributors, drew a fantastic turnout. Among the participants were Barbera International, Colleroni (OP Sicula)Coop. Frutta In, and OP Opens (Co.Ra and Si.fa Bio) as well as guests from the Puglia region and France.

The day was dedicated to fostering knowledge exchange regarding the ARRA Sugar Drop™ (ARRA 30) variety which was showcased at the peak of its harvest. Attendees had the opportunity to closely observe the defining characteristics of this growingly popular variety, that has been harvest in Sicily since the end of May.

Left: ARRA Sugar Drop - the cream of the crop; Right: Carlo Lingua, CEO AVI s.r.l

During the event, the AVI technical team delivered valuable insights on optimal practices to meet market demands, drawing from years of extensive testing. Engaging discussions with producers revolved around vineyard agronomy, nutrition, and water management. Agronomists Maurizio Simone and Marco Tempesta led the event, emphasizing the significance of selecting and shortening the bunches.

Marco Tempesta in the rows of Uva Briosa farm – OP Valleverde
Field Day explanations in the rows of Terre Assolate farm – OP Valleverde

As can be seen from the photos, ARRA Sugar Drop™ has reached the true-to-type characteristics that include: a beautiful creamy colour, excellent size, satisfying crunch and irresistible sweet taste.

The president of OP Valleverde, Mr. Carmelo Firrincieli, stated: “Despite the unusual rainy spring, this year we were able to have an excellent production of ARRA Sugar Drop. In a market where earliness is the key factor to success, having such an early variety like the ARRA Sugar Drop is an added value to our organization of producers. But this is not all, as it produces a top-quality grape which is a must”.

Stay tuned to more summer ARRA reports in the coming edition

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