X

Ruby Roman – The World’s Most Expensive Grape Variety

There are hundreds of grape varieties cultivated in japan, but only one so coveted that it can sell for several hundreds of dollars per grape (that’s individual grape, not bunch). The Ruby Roman was developed in Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture and is considered one of the world’s most expensive fruits.

The story of  Ruby Roman began in 1995, when Ishikawa grape farmers appealed to the Prefectural Agricultural Research Center to create a large red grape variety. 400 experimental vines were planted into a test field, and two years later, they started bearing fruit. However, out of the 400 vines, only 4 turned out to be red grapes, and only one of them was deemed large enough to meet the farmers’ expectations. Over the next 14 years, researchers selectively bred this grape variety, constantly enhancing its size, taste, color and ease of cultivation, and today Ruby Roman is considered a “treasure of Ishikawa”.

Read More »

Man Pays $11,000 for a Bunch of Grapes

A grocery store owner in Japan recently paid 1.1 million yen ($11,000) for a bunch of grapes of the Ruby Roman variety. He now plans to put them on display in his store and then give them to customers as taste samples.

Special fruits are a status symbol in Japan, sort of like rare wines in the Western world. It’s also customary to give high-quality fruits for formal occasions like weddings, business meetings or hospital visits and there are specialized fruit shops that sell only the rarest, most perfect products, grown in special conditions to ensure they look and taste as good as possible. The truly exceptional fruits are regularly auctioned off to the highest bidder, who often gift them to people perceived to be of a higher status, as a sign of respect and appreciation.

The 30 grapes bought by Takamaru Konishi were the first of the Ruby Roman variety harvested this season. They were the size of ping pong balls, and the buyer himself called them “truly Ruby Roman gems”. Well, they better had been, to be worth $11,000, or $370 per grape.

ruby-roman-grapes Read More »