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Year-round table grapes from AustraliaThe Australian continent proved to be very challenging for the first, pioneering grape growers who originally established themselves in the Sunraysia region.
Sunraysia is still the major growing region, however, with an eye on the Asian markets and the subsequent need to lengthen the marketing period, producers have expanded and table grape cultivation can also be found across the diverse climates of North East to North and South Western Australia.
ARRA 15; Carnarvon, Western Australia
With today's continual advancement in agricultural technology and innovation, it is likely that the aim of commercial producers to supply table grapes fifty-two weeks a year is not just a pipe dream but is a realistic goal, well within reach in the not too distant future.
The unceasing development of new table grape varieties which not only withstand, but flourish in extreme climates, allows for an extension of the marketing period.
Table grape producer, Antonio (Tony) Romeo's vision has always been to supply Australian table grapes to the domestic markets year-round. 34 years ago, Tony together with his brother Lindsay, established A & L Romeo which became Australia's largest, privately-owned table grape producer and marketer, farming over 1,300 hectares in five locations spread though out the East coast of Australia. Their footprint, now extends to the various locations in the West Coast of Australia via third party growing of ARRA varieties.
Today, the Romeo family believe that with the ARRA® table grape varieties, which are advanced varieties that are suitable for production in locations with extreme climatic conditions, their vision will soon become a reality, since the ARRA varieties provide them with a strategic advantage due to their performance, production and yields.
As Stephen Dever, Romeo's Best's General Manager of Marketing and Operations explains: "The response from growers in Australia to the ARRA varieties has been outstanding. This year's harvest of ARRA 15 in Carnarvon was a standout success; high yields from a first-year crop with exceptional quality, the consumers loved it."
Stephen continues, "No grape is bullet-proof, but it certainly helps when your frontline fighter is ARRA 15. We've had over 615mm of rain on it, with no splitting or rot."
2017, saw the production of the first commercial crop of ARRA 15 in Australia by Romeo's Best growers, Frank, Fatima Maria & Carlos Paulino from Carnarvon, Western Australia.
Paulino family at their vineyard
As Carlos notes, "We are still learning, it takes the grower time but we love the variety and we are looking forward to planting other ARRA varieties."
Undoubtedly, the new ARRA selection in Australia today will assist the growers to extend the season and increase their competitiveness in the international markets.
For more information: www.grapaes.com
Publication date: 3/13/2018
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