Pinot noir grapes in California. Not the grapes that sold for $8,200.
Photograph by George Rose—Getty Images
By John Kell
July 10, 2015

The luxury market for grapes in Japan has gotten out of hand: a single bunch has sold for $8,200.

In a frenzy that harks to the famed tulip bulb craze of the 1600s, prices keep ticking higher for Japan’s Ruby Roman grapes, which are grown on the west coast of Japan. Those grapes are selectively bred to emphasize sweetness and low acidity, the Wall Street Journal reports, a breed developed over 14 years. The grapes first went on sale in 2008.

Since then, the prices just keep leaping higher. A bunch sold for a relatively modest $910 in 2008 and by 2011, commanded $6,400. For the record, even the most expensive bunch of grapes sold by New York-based online grocer FreshDirect only goes for $4.99 per pound.

For the latest record-setting sale of Ruby Roman grapes, WSJ reports the winner was a chef who plans to use the grapes for dessert over the next few days. The bunch sold had 26 grapes, meaning they sold for $315 apiece.

WSJ has an image of the grapes, which can be seen here:


You May Like