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All About Sapphire Grapes

Sweet Sapphire grapes are an impressive dark grape variety with a signature tubular shape. However, this is far from its only unique attribute. Below, we’ll take a closer look at this interesting grape exploring its features and how they taste. Plus, we’ll share their health benefits and where you can buy or how you can grow your own Sapphire grapes right at home.

A basket of dark blue-purple Sapphire grapes.

Keep reading to learn more about this unique-looking variety of grape.

History of the Sapphire Grape

Sapphire grapes are the product of International Fruit Genetics (IFG). This company is responsible for creating many of the newer varieties of grapes you see in your local grocery store.

Now, one concern people have is that they believe grapes like Sapphires are GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms. However, IFG explains their breeding methods stating they are not involved in genetic engineering. Instead, the company takes traditional breeding practices such as cross-pollination and uses sophisticated technology to reach new levels of success.

They also perform embryo rescue in their laboratories, and they have over 80 achers of vineyards and test fields where they practice traditional breeding of stone fruits and seeded grapes. Every year, they hand emasculate over a million blossoms and pollinate them with valuable genetic traits.

Of course, they are involved in lab work, but they are not manipulating RNA or DNA. The IFG uses fashioned techniques such as plant breeding while infusing them with cutting-edge technologies.

Characteristics of The Sapphire Grape

As we mentioned, Sapphire grapes have a tubular shape that sets them apart from most other grape varieties. However, they also have extremely dark purple skin that’s nearly black. Inside, the interior fruit has greenish-translucent color, and the fruit is seedless.

A bunch of Sapphire grapes next to sliced Sapphire grapes on a plate.
Sapphire grapes.

These grapes live up to their sweet reputation with a dessert flavor that comes from their high sugar content. In fact, they have the highest sugar content of any grape variety!

Sapphires are also very firm and can be snapped in half.

These grapes are also known as “Witch Fingers” because of their spooky appearance.

Eating Sapphire Grapes

Now, let’s take a look at how these grapes taste and the different ways you can eat them.

What do Sapphire grapes taste like?

They have a very sugar flavor, which many compare to a grapey candy. There’s nearly no tartness.

What do Sapphire grapes go with?

These grapes are amazing in fruit salads and pair well with many berries and fruits. When paired with cheese, you get a delicious contrast of sweet and salty. You can also roast them and mix them with bitter greens making a fantastic summer salad.

Overhead view of a bowl of yogurt and fruit next to Sapphire grapes and slices of bread.

How to use Sapphire grapes in Cooking?

You can cook Sapphire grapes to create the base for a full-bodied sweet reduction sauce or use them in other recipes that call for grapes. They are highly versatile and can add much more sweet flavor than any other grape variety.

When pickling grapes, the grapes’ pickling fluid often contains vinegar, red wine, and standard pickling spices such as mustard seeds, coriander, and hot pepper. It also has warm spices such as star anise, cinnamon, and brown sugar.

But, if you wish to use these grapes to create raisins, they make for some sweetest, tastiest raisins you’ve ever had. They are even sweeter than dried dates, in my opinion.

Closeup of a jar of home made grape jam.
Grape jam.

Snackability of Sapphire grapes

These grapes or super-snackable and make for great finger food appetizers at parties. They are fantastic with your favorite yogurt dip on fruit trays. Once you convince hesitant guests they’re not mini eggplants. They’ll devour your entire bowl after tasting just one!

Kids

Kids absolutely love these grapes. They are a fantastic alternative to candy, meaning they will always have a place of honor in your child’s lunchbox.

Recipes

Here are just a few delicious recipes you can make using Sapphire grapes.

Chicken, Arugula, Goat Cheese, Walnuts & Sweet Sapphire Grapes

Roasted Moon Drop Grapes

Sapphire grapes and kiwi punch

Balsamic Roasted Grapes

Sapphire Grape Compote

Black Grapes Sorbet

Broccoli Salad Supreme

Cashew-Chicken Rotini Salad

Spiced Cran-Apple and Grape Conserve

Brussels Sprouts and Grapes au Gratin

Turkey Salad with Grapes & Cashews

Balsamic Steak with Red Grape Relish

Sangria Gelatin Ring

Woman scooping grape ice cream.
Grape ice cream.

The Health Benefits of Sapphire Grapes

Grapes are rich in fiber, potassium, Vitamin K, C, and A. Other health benefits include:

Cognitive Focus: They deliver a big cognitive boost to your brain thanks to their high levels of polyphenols.

Anti-Aging: Dark-colored grapes like Sapphires contain twice the amount of antioxidants as green grapes, compounds that help to protect our cells from free radicals.

Energy: Grapes are loaded with natural sugars, which can help you stay alert and energized throughout your day.

Immunity: One cup of grapes provides a quarter of the daily recommended Vitamin K intake. This ensures stronger immunity plus enhanced bone and heart health.

Sapphire grapes also have low calories and make for a great snack for those trying to lose weight. One cup of grapes usually contains about 100 calories, making them a high volume, but nutrient-dense food you can eat more of without paying a heavy calorie toll!

Closeup of Sapphire grapes on a plate.

Growing Sapphire Grapes At Home

Unfortunately, Sapphire grapes are licensed fruits, meaning only certain commercial farms are allowed to grow them.

Sapphire Grape FAQ

Here are more facts about Sapphire grapes.

Where are Sapphire grapes grown?

The IFG allows different growers worldwide to grow Sapphire grapes. For instance, you may find some coming from South American nations such as Chile.During early summer, you may find supplies coming from Mexico. In August, they usually ship from California.

What’s the difference between Sapphire and Moon Drop grapes?

Moon Drop grapes are a brand name for Sapphire grapes grown by a company called Grapery. These grapes were originally included in their “Witch Fingers” grape line. However, after receiving customer feedback, the decision to change the name to Moon Drop.Many feel that Moon Drop grapes are the best Sapphire grapes on the market. Grapery allows the grapes to fully ripen on the vine before picking, which gives them optimum flavor.

Bunches of dark-colored WItch FInger grapes.
Witch Finger grapes.

When are Sapphire grapes available?

These grapes are seasonal fruits made available on the market starting February through March when grown in the Southern Hemisphere. Producers in the Northern Hemisphere have them available around August.

How much do Sapphire grapes cost?

Your average grape variety, such as Red Flame seedless, may cost as low as 80 cents per pound. Sweet Sapphire grapes usually cost about $4-$5 per pound, which is far from cheap, but it’s tough to complain about the outstanding quality.

Where To Buy Sapphire Grapes

Sapphire grapes can be found at many grocery stores under different brand names during the spring through late summer. If you find them in the spring, they are likely coming from the southern hemisphere, and later in summer, they may come from growers in places like California. However, you’ll likely not find these grapes sold at farmer’s markets as they are mainly grown by big farming operations that distribute to grocery stores.

Sapphire Grapes: Conclusion

Closeup of a bunch of Sapphire grapes.

Sapphire grapes are a special kind of grape that’s not available year-round. That’s why it’s important to grab a few bags at your local grocery store when they are in season. These sweet treats are a fun and healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

To read more about grapes, read our other grapes blog posts.