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"Autumn Royal" Grape Is a Luscious AristocratBy Marcia Wood
October 23, 1997
A crisp, sweet-tasting new grape called Autumn Royal makes a delicious snack for fall. Now appearing in food markets, it's the newest vineyard masterpiece from fruit breeders at the Agricultural Research Service in Fresno, Calif.
Autumn Royal typically ripens the first or second week of October, but stores so well it can be marketed through December when shoppers have few high-quality grapes to choose from.
The firm and generally seedless Autumn Royal berries are oval- shaped and about an inch long. Their black or purple-black skin has a whitish cast or bloom. Inside, the flesh is an attractive, translucent yellow-green.
Research at the Fresno ARS laboratory has yielded 10 other flavorful new grapes in the past 25 years. The best known, Flame Seedless, was introduced in 1973 and became America's favorite red seedless grape.
ARS horticulturist David W. Ramming and technician Ronald E. Tarailo developed Autumn Royal at ARS' Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory in Fresno. They singled out the new grape, then known only as A97-68, from other promising candidates in a research vineyard more than a decade ago.
Ramming and Tarailo subjected A97-68 to vineyard scrutiny and laboratory tests before giving it the Autumn Royal moniker and releasing it to commercial growers in 1996.