US (CA): Arra grape varieties beat the drought

Last month Grapa and Giumarra conducted their annual open field day for the ARRA varieties in Bakersfield, California. "Over 300 visitors from all over the world attended the ARRA breading program in Giumarra vineyards, making this field day our largest yet," said Rafi Karniel, managing director for Grapa. "This year's open field day definitely lived up to the high standards and the feedbacks we received were very positive," he added.

The past year in California was extremely challenging, especially for growers, who were not prepared for this year’s surprising drought. 106 years have passed since the last drought in California, which was unexpected and caused a great crisis for growers. During the last 106 years the water consumption has grown due to population growth and a rise in intensive farming. In addition to the drought, California also experienced a massive heat wave of over 105° F which took place during veraison and made the crops look weaker.

"Despite the difficult conditions this year, the ARRA varieties have shown excellent resistance and made a strong impression," said ARRA breeder Shachar Karniel, "Among others, ARRA 15, also known as "Sweeties", and ARRA 29 are varieties which stood out and received much enthusiasm for their excellent appearance, flavor, fertility and crunchiness," said Shachar.

The visitors took part in a guided tour and received explanations about the early ARRA varieties, which already matured, to the later ARRA varieties which matured recently or are still maturing. The visitors were also presented with some of the even earlier ARRA varieties (harvested at the end of June) in a display from cold storage.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the visitors for coming all the way to California from all around the world and attending this meaningful event," said Rafi Karniel.

The next open field day for later varieties and varieties from cold storage will take
place during next month.

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