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24/11/2005

Millennium brings with it a better bunch

Millennium Muscat is a golden, seeded, early-maturing table grape with a distinctive aromatic muscat flavour. Muscat grapes are highly regarded for their flavour and are ideal for the cheese platter. According to CSIRO plant industry's Peter Clingeleffer, the new variety has impressed both consumers and growers with its muscat flavour, translucent golden berries and excellent vineyard performance. He says its ability to mature earlier than most other similar varieties also gives growers a distinct marketing advantage. "The variety has been evaluated in trials in Western Australia and Queensland since 2000 and in Victoria since 2003 and have produced good yields of top quality fruit," Clingeleffer said. "In WA it is the Carnarvon region's earliest ripening white variety, being harvested from mid-November to early December." The WA Department of Agriculture's Ian Cameron says the variety's good performance has led to high demand from growers in the region. "Nearly 4000 vines were reworked to Millennium Muscat in 2004–05," Cameron said. "A further 8000 vines have been ordered. The demand for vines is expected to increase even further after the first significant crop reaches markets this month through the licensed WA agent, Key Produce Pty Ltd." The new variety is the first to be released by the Table Grapes For The New Millennium project.

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