Sun World expands late-season grape offerings

08/19/2013 03:32:00 PM
Vicky Boyd

With the introduction of the proprietary Adora black seedless grape this fall, Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sun World will now be able to offer retailers a full color spectrum of late-season seedless grapes — red, black and green.

Adora, more than 10 years in the works, will be joined by green newcomers Autumn Crisp and Autumn King as well as the mainstay Scarlotta Seedless red, said Gordon Robertson, senior vice president of sales and marketing.

“We feel very bullish about how this will affect our late-season varietal mix,” he said.

All four grapes will be marketed under the Sun World label and their varietal name.

Adora is a large oval grape with a dark black skin and a very sweet taste, Robertson said.

Berries average about an inch in diameter, and he said internally it’s jokingly referred to as a “two-bite” grape because of the size.

Adora also has virtually no seed trace. Autumn royal — another late black grape — is considered seedless but it has such a large seed trace that some consumers may mistake it for a seeded variety, he said.

Harvest of Adora, along with Scarlotta, will start in October and run through early November. Both grapes should be available through the December holidays.


Other varieties

The proprietary Autumn Crisp is a large, round green grape that has a crisp texture, a sweet almost muscat-like flavor and delicate skin.

Sun World had very limited quantities last year, since it was the first production season. But consumer response was tremendous, Robertson said.

“We had many consumers contact us about where they could find Autumn Crisp in the fall,” he said.

“When you get that type of consumer response on top of customer response, it’s very encouraging.”

This year Sun World expects more volume as vines become more mature.

The firm is planting an additional 370 acres of grapes this season, of which a large part will be Autumn Crisp, Robertson said. It takes about three years before vines produce a crop.

This fall, Sun World also will introduce its first commercial crop of Autumn King, which will lengthen its marketing window for green grapes, Robertson said.

Harvest timing for the public variety is slightly later than Autumn Crisp, which is harvested from mid-September through mid-October.

The proprietary Scarlotta Seedless, with its large, red seedless berries, remains an anchor of Sun World’s late-season grape program, he said. They are harvested beginning in late September and are available through December.

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Barbara Wallace    
Sapulpa, OK  |  August, 04, 2014 at 05:56 AM

After trying Midnight Beauty Grapes #4056, I can't tell you how disappointed I was when I returned to the store to buy more and they had a different brand. Well, I tried the new brand they had and there was just no comparison to the Midnight Beauty. After just a few grapes, I could no longer eat the skins because it left a bad almost chemical numbing taste that stayed for hours in my mouth. I had a small amount left of the Midnight Beauty so I thought I would double-check my findings. Sure enough, as soon as I began eating the Midnight Beauty Grapes I couldn't stop. There was absolutely no chemical aftertaste at all on these grapes and the skins were just as easy to eat as the fruit. I can't remember ever having grapes as sweet and crisp as these wonderful grapes are. My only question would be, where and how can I get these excellent table grapes for myself. I would seriously like to have more. Please let me know and thank you for getting these grapes to market. Kind Regards, BW

Vicky Boyd, Staff Writer    
California  |  August, 04, 2014 at 07:24 AM

Midnight Beauty are from Sun World International. I suggest you contact Sun World directly, and they may be able to tell you which retailers are carrying the variety. Here's the link to the contact page.

Gloria Monroe    
Grants Pass  |  December, 23, 2014 at 09:08 PM

The Scarlotta are the best brand we've been able to find up here, plump and juicy and still available in December! My husband and I love these grapes, we hate having to switch to bananas when grapes go out of season.

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