Bunch of grapes fetches record $13,463 in Japan

A cluster of "Ruby Roman" grapes at a vineyard in Ishikawa prefecture, northern Japan, on Aug 11, 2008.
A cluster of "Ruby Roman" grapes at a vineyard in Ishikawa prefecture, northern Japan, on Aug 11, 2008. PHOTO: AFP/JIJI PRESS

KANAZAWA - A bunch of premium grapes grown in central Japan's Ishikawa Prefecture fetched a record price of 1.11 million yen (S$13,463) in the first auction of this season on Friday (July 7), Jiji Press reported.

The grapes, of the large-sized Ruby Roman variety, eclipsed the 1.10 million yen recorded last year, the report said.

"We're happy as we wanted to buy them(the grapes) in their 10th year in the market," Takao Teshima, the winning bidder and general manager of Kagaya, an exclusive onsen or hot springs inn based in Nanao, Ishikawa, was quoted as saying.

"We hope many people will enjoy them."

The auction was held at the central wholesale market of Kanazawa, capital of Ishikawa.

Ruby Roman grapes, named for its bright ruby hue, each weigh 20 grams or more and has high sugar content.

Growers began to ship the grapes in 2008, when some 23,500 bunches were sold for 139 million yen. The farmers' cooperative in Ishikawa aims to ship a record 26,000 bunches this year, Jiji said.