Keen interest in new ARRA varieties at recent field days in South Africa

ARRA Varieties™ were recently featured in Fresh Plaza.  Click here to see the article, or read more below.

Amid the uncertainty cast by Covid on the export table grape market, there was a strong turnout of growers and exporters at TopFruit’s recent annual field day in Augrabies (instead of Aussenkehr, Namibia) and, for the first time, in Limpopo.

Attendees to the Limpopo field day could clearly see why ARRA 29 (ARRA PASSION FIRE™) is one of TopFruit’s topselling varieties, with its intense colour (without the aid of Ethephon), berry size and early harvesting period, says Arnold Viljoen, TopFruit table grape business unit manager, resulting in positive market feedback.

Block of ARRA 29 on Shelfco farm, Augrabies, ready for harvest by the end of November (photos supplied by TopFruit)

“Additionally, talk amongst producers and exporters indicates that ARRA 33 and ARRA 30 are both hot on the heels of ARRA 29,” he says.

“ARRA 33 (right) is a much-anticipated variety that is showing great potential to replace early seedless varieties that are not as grower friendly.

By contrast, ARRA 33 is very grower-friendly and ideal for producers that are increasingly looking for ways to improve profit margins on the varieties that they select to commercialise.”

At the Augrabies field day at two farms of Southern Fruit Growers, blocks of ARRA 13, ARRA 14, ARRA 15, ARRA 29, ARRA 32, ARRA 33 and ARRA 34 (the latter three are trial blocks) were visited by around a hundred growers, technical advisors and exporters.

Arnold points out that among the ARRA varieties, ARRA 13 and 15 do very well in Aussenkehr, while 450km across the border into the interior, ARRA 29 and 30 perform great in Augrabies, Northern Cape.

ARRA varieties gain traction in Limpopo

On the farm of HN Pieterse in Groblersdal, producers first visited the ARRA 30 (ARRA SUGAR DROP™) grapes, at optimal ripeness on the day.

The ARRA 14 (ARRA MYSTIC BLOOM) vines (right) amazed everyone at the field day, he says, by the extremely grower-friendly, high-yielding vineyards of ARRA 14 that are planted in the Limpopo region. No ethephon was applied for colour.

As in Augrabies, the intense colour and berry size of the ARRA 29 (ARRA PASSION FIRE™) on the Limpopo farm attracted much attention, again requiring no Ethephon.

“The ARRA™ varieties made a great impression. Usually, TopFruit aims to showcase the ARRA™ varieties in commercial vineyards as well as in test blocks. In the coming field days for the Limpopo region, more focus will be on the commercial blocks.”

He notes that ARRA™ varieties are gaining a lot of interest in the area.

ARRA 29, valued for its minimal labour inputs and colour development, at the Limpopo TopFruit field day

Resistance to rain during the pre-harvest and harvesting period is non-negotiable in the Groblersdal/Marble Hall area. In fact, during the month before this field day approximately 85mm of rain fell on this covered test block, giving ARRA varieties the opportunity to show their mettle in local conditions.

Don’t miss out on these other articles:

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.