January 31, 2017

New varieties sweeten grape season at Oppy

With some of Peru’s most promising grape varieties now reaching our shores, Oppy is excited to offer a taste of what could be the favorite grapes of the future.

The cornerstone of the leading full service marketing and distribution company’s new variety line-up is the red seedless Sweet Celebration, just arrived on the U.S. East Coast. Sweet Celebration sizes 30-40 percent larger than a typical flame grape, measuring at about 28 millimeters—over one inch—in diameter. Perhaps even more appealing is Sweet Celebration’s brix of 18-21.

“Sweet Celebration is about the size of a red globe, without the seeds,” said Bill Poulos, director of import grapes and stone fruit at Oppy. “They are crisp and sweet, and low in shatter. While they are available early February through mid-to-late March, they may enter the market earlier in the future as the vines mature.”
Poulos notes that growers in Peru have made great strides with grape variety development in recent years. Chile’s new variety programs are also well-established. Between them, they can elevate the presence of new grape flavors and other preferred eating characteristics during the import season.

“We’re eager to play a key role in partnering with our growers gain a foothold for new varieties here,” Poulos said. “Retailers are interested in trying the new types and seeing how they stack up alongside the current variety mix.”

In addition to Sweet Celebration, Oppy has offered black seeded Sweet Jubilee and green seedless Sweet Globes in recent weeks. Looking ahead, the marketer’s assortment will include red seedless Jack’s Salute, black seedless Candy Dreams and Sweet Favors; green seedless Sugar Crisp and white seedless Cotton Candy and Arra 15 available.

Poulos noted that Oppy also plans to bring in additional trial varieties from Chile before the end of the first quarter.

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