Fresca has begun commercial marketing of new grape varieties produced by the flagship Volcani breeding programme.
An open field day for the project was held at the Fassoulis Vine Nursery in Nemea, Greece, last week, in which growers could see the progress of the project led by expert Dr Avi Perl.
The Volcani breeding programme is unusual in that it sees new varieties made available to growers with no marketing restrictions. The programme aims to find varieties that need less water, fungicides, fertiliser, pesticides and labour, but without any compromise to key attributes such as flavour, crunch, brix, shape and yield.
Fresca is a core investor in the project and is now marketing the new varieties to growers.
During the trials Perl and the team from Volcani were on hand to discuss each of the 30 varieties showcased, along with other global project partners such as Hoekstra in South Africa. They offered feedback about how the varieties are performing in different climates and soils around the world.
Dimitrios Spanos, source manager for Mack in Greece, said: “With any varietal development programme, it usually takes years for even a hint of a commercial success. We have always been realistic about this, but the results of this programme have easily surpassed our expectations.
“I was expecting us to have perhaps one variety ready for wider sale at this stage, but there are four or five superb varieties that we will begin to see planted commercially shortly. I have been greatly encouraged by the feedback from growers at our open field day this week, and I look forward to working with attendees to progress the roll-out of our successful selections.”