Supplies of Menindee Seedless grapes from the Emerald district are now building. Rudge Produce testing has shown widely fluctuating brix levels both between growers and within grower lines. This reflects the variability of maturity within vineyards that faces growers and highlights the importance of testing each block before picking.
Growers cannot lose sight of the need to produce a grape that eats well even when faced with market prices that decline sharply as volumes increase. Back in 2006 the Grape Connect group determined the minimum ratio of sugar to acid needed to give satisfactory eating quality. This translated to maturity specifications adopted by chain stores.
For Menindee Seedless, the maturity required in both the Woolworths and Coles specifications is 16 brix and a brix:acid ratio of 20:1. To make sure that this is achieved, growers must allow for the variability of maturity and recognise that some grapes will always be less mature than the average.
A word of caution about the use of the reflectometer to measure acidity. These instruments need to be calibrated to give accurate readings. The calibration kit and instructions should have been supplied with the instrument. If you have any queries about this process contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .