Sweet grapes from Italy

Our project leader in Italy, Doris Thewes, has words of praise for the current drop of Italian table grapes, "The grapes this year are lovely and sweet", she says. But this is hardly a surprise since the summer in Italy was very hot this year with little rain and more sun than usual – vines benefit from this. As a result of such weather conditions the degrees Brix (sugar content) in the fruit is especially high and the grapes reach peak ripeness.

Italy is one of the main grape growing regions in Europe. The ABA Mediterranea co-operative is one of our suppliers. This consists of more than 20 small family-run businesses in Apulia and Basilicata, down south in the heel of Italy. They have many years’ experience in organic production and BioTropic has already been working together with the directors for more than 10 years.

The juicy grapes are harvested there from mid-June until the end of October. The main crop is harvested in August and September: it consists of the shiny Red Globe through to the juicy Italia. In addition to this, there are the seedless white and blue varieties such as Regal or Crimson. Everyone is certain to find his favourite amongst them.

Grapes do not continue to ripen once they have been picked and consequently only the ripe grapes are pinched off and carefully laid in the ready containers. This season the co-operative is offering grapes for sale in so-called carrybags for the first time. These are small carrier bags in which there is room for one bunch of grapes. This means that the customer is able to take a bag without running the risk of the sensitive grapes becoming loose from the bunch.

Many other types of fruit and vegetable are also grown on the organic farms: cauliflower, fennel, mangolds, herbs, melons, citrus fruits, sweet potatoes, peaches and apricots are just a few examples of what is grown. Consequently the producers are able to guarantee their employees year-round employment and maintain their presence in the market throughout the year as well.

Text: Visnja Malesic
Pictures: BioTropic GmbH | ABA Mediterranea

Tags: ABA Mediterranea (GB), Doris Thewes (GB), Italy (GB), Grapes (GB)

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