Chilean grape breeding program bears fruit
Chilean grape growers have shown great interest in a locally-developed variety that is hoped will improve profitability for the sector.
The country's Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) and company Consorcio Biofrutales have been promoting the Iniagrape-one variety in seminars with growers in the Aconcagua Valley.
"Having our own varieties will have a positive impact on our country as it will reduce technological dependency and will allow entry into markets with new products, which in this case doesn't only involve the fruit itself but the export of genetics and know how to accompany the introduction of a new variety anywhere in the world," said INIA breeding expert Carolina Uquillas.
"Our varieties should be as attractive to the industry as varieties from the U.S. and Europe, as the Chilean industry already competes globally and our varieties should contribute in that arena."
Uquillas said the Iniagrape-one variety, registered in July last year, will be sub-licensed to Concorcio Biofrutales member nurseries.
"This is a table grape harvested between Thompsons and Crimsons in the Aconcagua Valley, of a bluish-black color and an average diameter of 21-22mm, that is responsive to gibberellic acid, is good postharvest and has clusters that are easy to manage," she said.
An INIA release said potential partners have given very favorable feedback for the variety and anticipate it could catch an attractive niche for black grapes in North America, Europe and Asia.
INIA is also promoting other varieties which were developed in 2006, including the Ilusión, Isela and Alba Rosa.