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In this insightful episode of the Lucentlands Podcast, hosts Dewald Kirsten and Louise Brodie engage in a fascinating conversation with Paola Barba, the new Table Grape Breeder at Sun World International. Sun World International stands as one of the leading table grape breeding companies globally, and Paola shares her experiences and expertise in the field.

The hosts kick off the episode by welcoming Paola to the International Table Grape Symposium in Somerset West, South Africa, where the conversation unfolds. Paola, hailing from Chile, brings a rich background in biotechnology engineering and a specialization in grape breeding from her time at Cornell University in the United States. She shares her journey, starting with her studies in engineering and the shift to her passion for working with plants.

Paola details her significant role as the table grape breeder at the National Institute of Agriculture in Chile before joining Sun World International in December 2022. She sheds light on the intricacies of table grape breeding, emphasizing the lengthy and meticulous process that involves multiple cycles spanning over a decade. Paola highlights the collaborative nature of the research team at Sun World, emphasizing the importance of teamwork in their endeavors.

The conversation delves into the specifics of grape breeding, including the selection process, the importance of perfect flowers for table grapes, and the distinct characteristics separating wine grapes from table grapes. Paola discusses the challenges and rewards of her role, expressing excitement about Sun World’s latest variety, Ruby Rush, and the future of table grape breeding.

As the hosts inquire about the major trends in table grape preferences, Paola addresses consumer demands, sustainability, and the importance of grower-friendly varieties. The podcast concludes with Paola expressing her passion for the grape industry, emphasizing its role in sustaining a way of life, promoting job creation, and contributing to a diverse and interesting array of grape varieties.

Find Paola HERE:
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paola-barba-bb860628/
Sun World Website: https://www.sun-world.com/

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