New grape variety launched in Chile

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New grape variety launched in Chile

A new black table grape variety was launched in Chile yesterday by the Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA) and Consorcio Biofrutales.

Click here to view the photo gallery for the launch.

Developers bred the bluish black Iniagrape-one with Asian and U.S. consumers in mind, with firm skin, medium crispiness and good post harvest qualities for a period of 60 days.

The harvest of Iniagrape-one starts in Jan. 15 in Vicuña and around Feb. 15 in the Aconcagua Valley, which are times when the Southern Hemisphere has a market window for black grapes.

During the launch, the importance of Chile having its own grape varieties was highlighted, in a bid to progressively reduce on foreign technology while increasing options for growers.

INIA national director Pedro Bustos said the development would not just mean the export of a new variety, but "the genetic know-how that accompanies the introduction of a new variety in any part of the world".

Biofrutales general manager Rodrigo Cruzat added the program aimed to address specific industry problems through the use of modern breeding techniques.

The program is currently working on two other varieties expected to be registered soon - INIA 10NN, which is similar to the Red Globe but with fewer seeds and lighter in color,  as well as the INIA 5 which is similar to a Thompson Seedless but requires less labor.

Fedefruta president Antonio Walker said the launch came at a time when the industry was in need of renewal to boost competitiveness and returns for growers.

He says the grapes have two important qualities for bringing a return on investment, which were high yields and early harvesting.

INIA expects the fruit to reach an average Freight on Board (FOB) price of US$22 per 8.2kg carton. It highlights that the return for growers exporting to the U.S. is around US$10 per carton, while prices of up to US$29 per carton are expected in Taiwan and Chinese mainland, with an average grower return of US$11 per carton.

Technical aspects

Iniagrape-one clusters are conical, of medium density and have an average weight of 690 grams. According to the INIA has a good response to applications of gibberellic acid for elongation, thinning and growth.

The fruit can reach between 19 and 21 degrees brix with acidity from 0.9 to 1%.

The berry is blue-black in an ellipsoidal shape with traces of seeds in some seasons. Its size is 10-22 mm and the average fruit weight is 8g.

The grape is produced in planting densities of 1,111 and 1,666 plants per hectare, and 35-40 clusters per plant. It has a theoretical projection of 3,200 boxes of 8.2 kg export cartons per hectare.

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