Rain cuts Greek grape season short

Rains in Greece will likely force growers to cut their grape season short this year. Despite the setback, growers are expecting decent yields and a receptive European market for their fruit.
 
“The grape season in Greece started during the second week of August, and, despite several rains, quality has been good,” said George Frangistas. “The unfortunate consequence of the rains will be a short season, so we expect to wrap things up in the next few weeks.”
 
Gefra, which, over its 60 years of existence, has become one of the largest fruit exporters in Greece. With almost a third of their crop going to Germany, that country is the main export destination for their grapes. The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Scandinavia split almost evenly the rest of Gefra's export volume.
 
In spite of difficult weather, George expects they'll export about 3,000 tons of Thompson grapes, which would be a record for them. That kind of volume is very welcome, considering the strong demand that is expected this season.
 
“From the onset of the Greek campaign, it has been obvious that both Spain and Italy, each for different reasons, will be short of fruit and would not count for much on the white seedless markets of August and September,” said George. “These have clearly been favourable conditions for Greek suppliers. Gefra grabbed this opportunity and is aiming for a record year.”
 
Crimson varieties are still being harvested in amounts consistent with a trial run. George emphasized the importance of trying out new varieties and branching out from the kinds of grapes grown in the past.
 
“It has become more than apparent to all parties involved that some varietal development is necessary to extend the period of sale and marketing options,” noted George. “To reach any commercially interesting scale will take a few years, but there are certainly plans to expand and diversify."

For more information:
George Frangistas
Gefra
Direct: +30-210-9636382
Skype: george.frangistas
www.gefra.gr

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