First English-grown grapes make their debut in Waitrose

Dessert grapes grown and hand-picked in England have been launched by a supermarket for the first time.

A crop of golden-yellow fruit harvested from vines on the Chatsworth estate in Derbyshire has been introduced by Waitrose.

The grapes are the Muscat of Alexandria variety, more usually seen in the sunny climes of Spain, France, Chile and South Africa. They were cultivated under glass on the Duke of Devonshire's estate.

Waitrose fruit buying manager Jocelyn Clarke said: "The English climate is not really suited to growing table grapes so it's a glorious surprise that these delicious fruits are a little piece of England."

She continued: "The Muscat of Alexandria is a beautiful variety of dessert grape and the fact that we have a supply lovingly cultivated in Derbyshire is the icing on the cake."

The arrival of English-grown sweet Muscat grapes in stores follows a British wine boom that last year saw the country's vineyards celebrate record production equal to four-million bottles.

Small quantities of sweet dessert grapes have been grown in England for many decades, but not on a commercial scale.

Waitrose's launch of the sweet grapes from Derbyshire is part of a wider trend for more exotic fruit to be grown in Britain.


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