Bring the vineyard home with Pixie(TM) Grape
Aug. 31, 2015, Vineland Station, Ont. — “PixieTM Grape, a versatile indoor/outdoor grapevine, is a must-have edible ornamental and we want to share it with the world,” said Chandra Bierhuizen, sales/marketing manager at Sunrise Greenhouses located in Vineland.
Since 2012, the family-run operation has been marketing this dwarf grapevine in Canada and now their plan is to enter worldwide markets.
Six years ago, Robert Bierhuizen, president of Sunrise Greenhouses and board director of Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) recognized the ornamental value of the miniature vine and partnered with Vineland to develop new varieties of PixieTM Grape.
The first variety, Pinot Meunier, was launched in Canada in 2012 to overwhelming demand. PixieTM Grape is now available in all major supermarkets and garden centres nationwide.
Since then, Sunrise Greenhouses has initiated entry for their product line in France and Japan and are currently undergoing quarantine procedures, required by international regulators, which can take up to two years to complete.
“This past year, some plants proceeded to market release in Japan,” said Chandra. “Gaining access to markets outside of North America can be lengthy and costly but the rewards can as well be fruitful.”
Sunrise Greenhouses have also been active on the U.S. side, approaching California-based Plug Connection for their marketing and sales needs. They have shipped over 40,000 PixieTM Grape plants to the company in the U.S. in 2015.
ABOUT PIXIETM GRAPE
PixieTM Grape is a new type of Vitis vinifera cultivar derived from Pinot Meunier. These types of grapes are traditionally used for producing wines including champagnes.
This ornamental dwarf vine grows 30 to 60 cm in height and produces grape clusters with an average size of 10 cm. In fact, PixieTM Grape is so small, it can be grown in a coffee cup.
Unlike traditional Pinot Meunier vines that can take up to three years to bear fruits, PixieTM Grape begins producing grapes within the first year of growth.
Nathalie Dreifelds is an Advisor, Communications & Public Relations, with the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre.
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