While this price sets a record for grapes, it falls some way short of the top bid for fruit this year in Japan, where a pair of prized Yubari melons from Hokkaido recently sold for ¥1.5m (£7,945). The bunch that sold contained 26 grapes, meaning a single grape was worth about ¥38,000 ($315).
Of the 31 Ruby Roman bunches auctioned off as a high-end variety developed by the Ishikawa prefectural government, the highest priced one comprising 30 grapes weighed approximately 700 grams, compared with an average of around 600 grams.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Ruby Roman grapes, which are valued for their sweetness, low acidity and perfectly round shape, were won at auction by Hotel Nikko Kanazawa chef Masayuki Hirai. Mr. Hirai told Japanese national broadcaster NHK that he wanted to the world to know about the good things in Ishikawa, especially with the connection of a new Shinkansen line this year that has made travel to the area easier. He said the grapes will be served as dessert at the hotel’s restaurants in the next few days.
Japan is known as a country where fruit can cost a small fortune. The first crop of specialty grapes from this year’s harvest started shipping out to stores Thursday and usually retails for about 25,000 Yen ($206), depending on the quality.