A black seeded IFG variety, the Sweet Jubilee, has several hundred acres planted by five or six growers and will be fruiting this year. “It’s geared to the Asian export market, where it’s done very well,” Cain said. “It’s a couple weeks ahead of red globe and fits a good window ahead of autumn royals for a black grape going to Asia. It’s larger than red globe.”
He expects the industry’s shift toward newer varieties to continue.
“They’re definitely multiplying,” he said. “There are a number of private breeding programs like ours that are releasing varieties. I think you’ll see that trend continue.”
IFG also has several experimental flavored grapes being tested this year by The Grapery. “We’re putting a lot of breeding effort into developing labrusca- and muscat-flavored grapes,” Cain said. “A couple are doing well in foreign countries.”