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Grapes - Sweet Sultana

Cultivated as far back as 5,000 B.C. it is thought that grapes were brought to the modern world from the Ottoman Empire. A popular folk tale is that the name originated when a Sultan left his grapes in the sun after fleeing from a tiger – when he came back, he had sultanas!

How do we make sure we provide top quality sultana grapes?

The secret to providing quality grapes is to check the stem; it’s one of the best indicators of quality. If the stem is dry and shriveled, the bunch is overly mature and will have a soft mushy texture. If the stem is green and fresh-looking, the grapes will be fresh and juicy. We also check the quality of the grape; it should be plump (not wrinkled), firm (not soft) and well-coloured. It’s also important to check for common grape diseases (such as grey mould, anthracnose and rhuzopus rot). Finally, we check to make sure the grape is firmly attached to the stem. All these indicate the grape is fresh, juicy and ready to eat.

Where do we source our sultana grapes?

Sultana grapes require a temperate low humidity environment, with a cool winter, a rainy spring and a hot dry summer. They also require sandy or gravely sandy loam soil. The grapes are picked when the bulb develops to maturity in texture, colour and taste (grapes don’t ripen after they’re picked, they must be mature at harvesting time). The best grape growing areas in Victoria are the Sunraysia and Mid-Murray districts, and we try to source our grapes from growers around those regions. If Victorian supply is short, we source grapes from the Riverland area in South Australia, or the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area in New South Wales.

What is the best way to keep sultana grapes?

Grapes are best stored in an airtight plastic bag in the fridge (optimal storage conditions are 0°C and 90%-100% relative humidity). 

Sultana grapes nutritional information

The nutritional benefits of grapes have been enjoyed throughout the ages (at least for the last 4,500 years – they feature in mosaics of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt). Grapes are a very good source of manganese and they are also a solid source of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and potassium. Grapes also contain Resveratrol, which has been shown to reduce plaque build up in the arteries, and has shown some anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

Sultana grapes seasonal information

Sultana grapes are generally available between January and March.

Sultana grapes serving tips and suggestions

Sultana grapes are great when served with crackers, cheese and quince paste!

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Grapes - Sweet Sultana

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