The first semi-commercial blocks of Sassy™ apples were established in the Western Cape last year, with more to follow next year.
“The cultivar is completely unique, especially with regards to its earliness and won’t be replacing any cultivars, but instead start the apple season one to two weeks before Royal Gala with a deep red crunchy apple,” says Corné Grundlingh, Pome and Stone Fruit Business Unit Manager at TopFruit, which holds the license for the New Zealand cultivar which was commercialised by Next Generation Apples.
She adds that the fruit is extremely firm and stores well.
Beautiful colour in all growing regions
“It was one of the varieties that stood out in our evaluation test blocks last season and we were not disappointed with this season’s harvest. Colour development occurred gradually; then just before the fruit was at picking maturity, the fruit coloured up beautifully in all the growing regions.” says Dihan, Pome Fruit Technical Manager at TopFruit.
The hybrid of Scifresh, Fuji and Sciros varieties was last year independently rated as one of the top three new apple varieties tested by Provar, a nonpartisan cultivar evaluator in South Africa.
It is suited to all traditional apple-growing regions with moderate chilling requirements.
Dihan continues: “It is extremely grower friendly in terms of tree architecture, precociousness and productivity. The sweet taste, early timing of harvest, good colour, expected better storage than Gala plus early and high productivity make this an extremely interesting variety. A big advantage of this variety is getting into the market early.”
For more information:
Tel: +27 21 874 1033