This is berrilicious!
A bunch of 24 Ruby Roman grapes sold for $11,000 at a Japanese auction, NHK World Japan News reported.
Takashi Hosokawa, who manages a chain of hot spring hotels on the northern cost of Honshu island, was the winning bidder who set the record for the most expensive single bunch of grapes ever sold.
“We offered 1.2 million yen to mark the 12 years (since the grape came on the market) and to celebrate Reiwa’s first auction,” said Takashi Hosokawa, 45, a manager of a Japanese inn operated by the company that bought the grapes, referring to the new imperial era that started in May.
Hyakurakuso owns three “ryokan” inns in the prefecture, bought the bunch through a wholesaler who bid for the grapes at the central wholesale market in Kanazawa.
“It is a great honor to be able to be able to own Ruby Romans from Ishikawa prefecture in the first year of Japan’s new era of Reiwa,” Hosokawa told NHK World Japan News. “We are going to treat our customers with these grapes at our hotel.”
This variety is grown and sold exclusively in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, where it was cultivated over the course of 14 years before it entered the market in 2008 at just over $900.
Ruby Roman – the “dream grape,” is a bright red that is about the size of a ping-pong ball. They are prized for their juiciness and sweetness, but low acidity.
Only a select number are sold each year — only about 26,000 will hit the market this year — to keep up with the demand.
Exotic and expensive fruit — which can be cultivated to be a different colour or shape than usual — is a popular luxury product in Japan, where pieces are often given as gifts to bosses or other special recipients. And $11,000 bunch of grapes isn’t even the most expensive of the, well, bunch.