For the third year, International Fruit Genetics partnered with the Kern County chapter of California Rare Fruit Growers to host a tour for the public through IFG’s vineyards.
“We have been breeding for different flavors and different textures, like very crunchy grapes that people like,” general manager of IFG Dr. David Cain said. “They each have a little different flavor. People describe them as having strawberry, or mango, or papaya or lychee flavors.”
Since 2001 Cain has lead IFG in the development of new and unique flavors, like its signature Cotton Candy grape.
“I think it offers a broader array of different quality fruit to the consumer,” Cain said.
IFG grapes are in 14 countries.
To date 36 new flavors have been developed, including Candy Snaps, Sweet Sapphire and Sweet Jubilee. There are several more flavors in the works, according to Cain.
“It’s kind of like fishing or something,” Cain said. “You never know what you are going to get, when you’re going to find the really fantastic one. My favorite one right now is, I like the Candy Snaps.”
The tour included a brief look at the lab, followed by a walk through the vineyards where attendees were allowed to taste different grapes and even take some home.
“I think it’s fun to taste the different variates and see what industry is looking for and going into the future how each variety differs from where they are shooting to sell it,” attendee Allie Cushnyr said.
IFG grapes are sold at many large grocery stores including Albertsons, Walmart and Costco. They can also be found at Sully’s Chevron stations and Sweet Surrender.