Learn all about the elongated black seedless grapes and why they are sometimes called Moon Drops and sometimes called Sweet Sapphire.
Anyone that knows me, knows that I hate when people are misinformed.
It's one of my pet peeves. I want people to know the truth. To understand their universe better.
I strive on this blog to help people understand the differences and similarities between different foods. While at the same time clearing up some misconceptions.
Today I want to talk about grapes. The grape market is hot right now. So many new and tasty varieties showing up. It's never been a "graper" time to be a grape fan. With that comes some confusion about the varieties. Case in point today, Moon Drops and Sweet Sapphire grapes. Are these grapes one in the same? Or are they different?
Let's give you a "grape education"
🍇 What are Sweet Sapphire Grapes?
Sweet Sapphire grapes are a black seedless grape with one unusual characteristic, They are long. Really long. They look more like a log in shape than a grape. These types of grapes have been grown in the Middle East but have not been widely produced for an American market until now.
Sweet Sapphire lives up to it's name as a sweet grape. The flavor while really good is not unusual like Cotton Candy or Gum Drop grapes. The grapes are super crisp. You really bite into them. Besides their shape being fun that crispiness is what I really love about them and encourage everyone to take a bite of.
RELATED - How Did They Make Grapes Taste Like Cotton Candy
🌐 Where Did Sweet Sapphire Come From?
They are the ones responsible for many of the new grape varieties we are seeing. IFG came out with Sweet Sapphire grapes.
Before you start thinking this grapes must be GMOs, don't worry, they are not. Here is how IFG describes their breeding methods:
It is important to note that IFG is not involved in genetic engineering. Instead, we are taking traditional breeding techniques to new levels of sophistication and success. In addition to performing embryo rescue in the lab, IFG has more than 80 acres of test fields and vineyards for traditional plant breeding of seeded grapes and stone fruits. Each year, more than a million blossoms are carefully hand emasculated then pollinated with various genetically desirable traits.
Yes they do work in a lab. They are not messing around with DNA or RNA or any of that. They are taking the old fashion method of planting breeding that we have been doing for centuries and infusing it with modern technology.
🌱 Where Do They Grow?
So where do these grapes grow? IFG has licensed the grapes to be grown by different growers around the world. I have seen them coming from South American countries like Chile.
Earlier this summer you can get them coming in from Mexico. In August, they are coming from California.
The Sweet Sapphire grapes you see in the photos on this post are grown by Anthony Vineyards. They grown both conventional and organic grapes. Their Sweet Sapphire grapes are not organic.
🌙 What are Moon Drops Grapes?
You may also hear of or come across a grape called a Moon Drops grape. It looks alot like the Sweet Sapphire. That is because it is actually the same variety.
Moon Drops are grown by Grapery - the ones known for making Cotton Candy grapes a topic of conversation. They have chosen to give them their own trademarked name. Originally they were part of their Witch Fingers grape line but they decided that Moon Drops after customer feedback.
❔ What is the Difference?
The difference between Sweet Sapphire and Moon Drops grapes comes down to who grows them. As far as I know everyone else but Grapery calls them Sweet Sapphire.
Is one better than the other? In my opinion, the Moon Drops are the best tasting Sweet Sapphire grapes you will find. Grapery goes the extra mile every time when it comes to producing their grapes.
Grapery lets them ripen perfectly on the vine before picking. They only pick them at optimal flavor. I found Sweet Sapphire grapes on store shelves before Grapery had released their Moon Drops - which normally come out around August 20th and last until mid November.
I am not saying the regular Sweet Sapphire grapes are bad. I have enjoyed them as well and like that I can get them during times of the year that Moon Drops aren't available.
If you have chance to try both side by side, go right ahead. I would love to hear if you have a preference. Leave a comment below.
RELATED - What are Tear Drop Grapes?
🚜 Want to Grow Your Own Grapes?
If you are interested in growing your very own grapes. my favorite resource for learning how is The Organic Backyard Vineyard: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing Your Own Grapes It is a great resource on getting you started.
My favorite line you used was "In my opinion, the Moon Drops are the best tasting Sweet Sapphire grapes you will find.". That being said, I will now go back to Sam's club and purchase the sweet sapphire grapes. Thank you.
Nan E Demaree
Krogers in Indiana has a sign up for moon drop grapes but the bag they are in says Sweet Sapphire grapes. So I guess they have all the bases covered. I just know they are good.
I saw them on a produce cart on Broadway near New York's City Hall. They were the weirdest looking grapes I'd ever seen. Now I know I have only a short time to try them. I still wonder what a crisp grape feels like in the mouth.
I don't know who else remembers, but "Moon Drops" used to be the name of an extra-moist line of Revlon lipsticks.
The first time I had these little gems was last autumn. They were the moon drop brand and I agree the moon dos agree just a little sweeter.
I tried sweet sapphire grapes for the first time tonight. They grown by Anthony’s in California and sold by Food Lion in Hampton, Virginia for $.89 per pound. I enjoyed them! Awesome price too!
Eddie Colbert jr
Is there a way to get moon drops grapes (grapery)
anywhere at any cost?
Please let me know
Eddie Colbert Jr
Unfortunately they have shipped all their grapes for the season. You may get lucky and still find a store with a supply but I have stopped seeing them myself.
Linda L Campbell
A coworker brought Moon Drops to work for lunch. After work I couldn't get to the store fast enough to get some before they were gone. Sadly it was a one time buy for my store and they were gone in 2 days. I have a seedless grape in my garden but this far exceeds the flavor of mine. I defiantly will start watching in August for there return. When can we look forward to purchase a starter plant to grow in our yard?
I don't doubt that will ever allow just anyone to grow them. Intertnational Fruit Genetics has the patent so they control who growns them. I could see a similar type of grape be made available for home growers soon.
As I type this comment on 2-28-19 I am enjoying a handful of MOONDROP grapes. The are available in Dearborn, Michigan at the moment and are delicious. Just saying incase anyone in the area wants to try them.
Does the bag itself say Moon Drop grapes on it? Or did just the sign at the store say that? The Moon Drop name is a reserved name only used by the Grapery, everyone else calls them Sweet Sapphire which is the name given to them by the ones who developed them. They are one and in the same.
I had some Sweet Black Sapphire grapes courtesy of LOWE's produce in Tucumcari, NM in November. It was right after Halloween and I thought to myself "These would make great Witch's Nipples at the Halloween party next year, right next to the marshmallow ghosts and Spookish Meatball's giant's testicals!.
I just bought some at Sam's club in Quincy Illinois.. And wondered what Benefits They had.. It all sounds good
I love Moon Drop grapes....they are fantastic and rarely do you run into a bad one in a huge bunch. Second choice would definitely be Cotton Candy grapes. You can't go wrong with either one, but Moon Drop grapes seem to be the most consistently delicious in the bunch or by the bag , however they are sold!
Hi. My name is David. I’m a fruit addict, with no desire to be in recovery. My last intake was 30 minutes ago. It all began with melons at the turn of the millennium. I became a melonhead. It progressed to cherries, where I’ll eat them until I have diarrhea. This year, I must confess, I’m changing my addiction to grapes, specifically because of the Sweet Sapphire. I’ve gained 15 pounds since harvest began. It is literally the fruit of the gods to me. I envision myself a sheikh in a harem being fed by Sheilas when I eat a bunch. They are out of this world in regards to flavor, crispness and juiciness. I dread the day when they’re gone. That said, I found out about Sweet Globes two weeks ago. I’m on a SG hunt today...
Just had my first sapphire grapes here in Adelaide Australia, so someone is growing them down under now!
They seem to be spreading across the globe.
The MOON DROP GRAPES are the best. They are sweeter. Every time I have eaten them, I have not ate one that was not sweet.
Moon Drops are to Sweet Sapphire what Kleenex is to Tissue Paper. It's all in the branding.
The IFG breeding company named and patented the variety as Sweet Sapphire. The Grapery, who grows the fruit in California then branded this variety under the Moon Drop name. Only they can legally call this grape a Moon Drop, although retailers have been known to use the name on signs as customers are familiar with it. Growers globally now produce this grape and sell it under the name Sweet Sapphire. But for us, it is all the same grape.
Savvy shoppers will soon notice that there is a lot of this branding happening. Many California growers are taking very common varieties and branding them with new and different names. They do this for a couple reasons: a.) to differentiate themselves as they feel they have a better product than the farmer next door. b.) to give them a offering in their own packaging for retailers that want a consistent look and quality through the whole season.
enjoy your grapes!
You are exactly right. A lot of branding is going on, that can leave customers confused at times. The trademarked Moon Drops name hit the grocery stores before Sweet Sapphire, so a lot of grocery stores are using Moon Drops name as "the Kleenex".
Just picked up some sweet sapphire grapes at Ingles here in north Georgia and I can honestly say they are not as good or as sweet as the moon drop grapes we used to pick up at Sam's club or Publix. Good, but not Moon Drop good.
Finally picked up some delicious moon grapes at my local Sam’s club in Baltimore Maryland they also had the cotton candy grapes fresh new batch I’m so delighted!
Sorry for the mistake: Dear Eric, it's October 2020 now, I live in zone 6 where I can buy a vine for my house or Sweet Sapphire or Moon Drops online or otherwise. With respect and gratitude for the answer, Oleg.
Unfortunately they are not available for the general public to grow.
todd j fink
They are now carried at Aldi's foods in Illinois. So so good!!!!
I bought mine in Walmart in Fall River, Mass yesterday. I had to ask the clerk if they were actually grapes. I had never see these before. These grapes are delicious. I would buy them again. My store is just calling them seedless black grapes.