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A 100% Chilean grape variety seeks to replace the traditional Thompson Seedless grape

After five seasons of meticulous tests and trials, the Chilean grape variety INIA-G4 -the result of the collaborative work between the research institute and the Biofrutales consortium- is about to debut its commercial name, ready to conquer producers and agricultural companies at a time of uncertainty for the Chilean table grape.

This new variety is shaping up to be a promising alternative to the traditional Thompson Seedless variety, which once reigned supreme in Chilean vineyards. Despite the challenges facing the table grape industry, from fierce competition with Peru to climate issues that reduce yields, producers continue to look for solutions that allow them to cope with the crisis.

The INIA-G4, the first white variety developed entirely in Chile, has unique characteristics that could help producers reduce labor costs, as it requires fewer interventions than other varieties. In addition, it is vigorous and productive, resistant to weather changes, and offers an excellent post-harvest that exceeds 60 days, according to INIA experts.

Its "cream green" tone initially raised some doubts, but meetings with American importers have shown that this color is a distinctive attribute in a market saturated with white varieties. In addition, its flavor and more resistant rachis "make it very attractive for marketers."

The INIA-G4 has outstanding calibers and good post-harvest characteristics that make it "a very competitive option." Despite being a mid-season variety, its production cycle ends 5 to 7 days earlier than that of the Thompson Seedless variety, which makes it even more attractive for producers.

Despite all these advantages, the sector's recession has hindered the adoption of this new variety. ANA Chile, the licensee of the genetic program, has reduced royalties and offers payment facilities to attract producers, but uncertainty prevails. However, some semicommercial trials are already underway, and the first boxes of INIA-G4 grapes are expected to be harvested next year.

In a bold gesture, the INIA-G4 has crossed borders and found a home in Brazil, where it will be grown in tropical conditions by Chilean producer Carlos Santana. This short-cycle variety adapts perfectly to the conditions of the tropics, offering multiple harvests per year and providing new opportunities for both producers and consumers.


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