Turkey Coming To Table With New Grape Hybrids


Better and stronger is the watchword in the Turkish wine world these days. 
In a report published by EDP Sciences earlier this year, researchers A. Atak and A.K. Kahraman detailed the emergence of several types of table grapes designed by Turkey's Central Horticultural Research Institute. 
“In Turkey, breeding studies began in the 1970's and are currently in progress at various institutions,” the report stated. “As a result, 12 new table grape cultivars have been registered and several cultivars from these studies have been selected.”
In the past two years, six new table grape varieties have been registered, the report said. 
These new types of table grapes were designed with stoutness in mind.
Because the grapes are “among the most consumed fruit,” the report said, “breeders of Turkey tried to increase the quality characteristics of table grape varieties.”
Breeding focused on disease resistance and early-late harvest characteristics. Specifically, the report identified the grapes as “hybrids”.
The authors went on to discuss the dozen aforementioned hybrids. 
Of particular note was the strong performance of the Pembe 77 grape, the report said. The Alphonse-Muscat Reine des Vignes hybrid, which was registered in 2012, ripens late and can keep on the vine until December, the report said. 
The berry from the Pembe 77 has a special aroma and crispy structure, the report said, and has a moderate to high resistance to common fungal diseases. 
The Arifbey grape received middle-of-the-road reviews, the report said. The white grape ripens the second or third week of August.
“It has a largely neutral flavour with slight fruity flavour in some observations,” the report said. “This cultivar has excellent clusters that are fairly large and very loose to deter much bunch rot.”
The grapes displayed “moderate vigor and yield” and were able to stand the temperature test of Northern Turkey's cold winters.
The other 10 grapes in the hybrid study all had varying levels of coloration, cold heartiness, vigor and disease resistance.
The report concluded with charts which scored the hybrids based on a 20-point tasting scale, with 20 being the best score and zero being the worst score. Ratings were recorded for three years: 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The Pembe 77 grape scored well, tying for the top spot with a three-year combined score of 50 points. The Arifbey, on the other hand, garnered a total of 42 points over the course of the three year study. However, the grape performed well in color tests, scoring well for its clarity.
The Arifbey is one of three grapes which will be officially registered at the end of 2014. 

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