New Zealand Apple KORU® Finds Fans

Kaari w KORURPublication:
Date:  September 30, 2014
Author:  Geraldine Warner

KORU® Brand Apples will be produced in Washington and New York States.

Sean Gilbert first saw Koru brand apples in a grocery store while he was visiting Washington’s San Juan Islands. He bought a couple and was so impressed with the flavor and texture that he went back to buy more. 
“The eating quality was fantastic. I’ve eaten a lot of new varieties in the last ten years, and this one really stood out to me,” he said. “I went back a few more times. I think I cleaned them out.”
The apples had been imported from New Zealand. Gilbert, who is general manager at Gilbert Orchards in Yakima, Washington, started asking around to find out who, if anyone, was growing the variety in Washington.
He learned that Koru is the brand name for a variety called Plumac, a chance seedling that was discovered in New Zealand in 1998 and is being commercialized by McGrath Nurseries, Ltd., based in Cambridge, New Zealand.
Three U.S. companies share an exclusive license to sell the apple in North America: New York Apple Sales in Glenmont, New York; Borton Fruit in Yakima, Washington; and Oneonta Starr Ranch Growers in Wenatchee, Washington.
All three have been importing New Zealand Koru brand apples and will sell U.S. fruit as it becomes available. They have made a commitment to plant at least 800 acres. Gilbert, who also markets his fruit through Oneonta, signed up to grow the variety and has trees ordered for 2016.