A Bunch of Ruby Roman Grapes Sets a Record Selling for $8,200 at Japanese Auction

A Bunch of Ruby Roman Grapes Sets a Record Selling for $8,200 at Japanese Auction

JAPAN - The demand for Ruby Roman grapes appears to have boosted by more than $100 a grape. At least at auction.

This time last year we reported that the bunch went for an impressive $5,400, but while that news might be “so last year” the grapes are definitely not.

Ruby Roman Variety Grapes, a luxury item in Japanese stores and restaurants.

The Wall Street Journal’s Lisa Du reported a new record as the gavel fell on a single bunch of Ruby Romans for ¥1 million (about $8,200).

Lisa Du, Reporter, Wall Street Journal“The bunch that sold contained 26 grapes,” Du wrote in the report. “Meaning a single grape was worth about ¥38,000 (about $315). It weighed about 700 grams (about 1.5 pounds).”

Chef Masayuki Hirai of Hotel Nikko Kanazawa, the tallest hotel located in the city of Hokuriku, was the winning bidder that set the latest record for grape demand. He plans to use the luxury fruit in the hotel restaraunt’s dessert over the next few days, according to the Wall Street Journal, where dinner plates range about ¥10,000 (just over $80). The sales price in stores for the grapes could start in the ¥25,000 (about $205) range, according to the report, dependent upon the quality of the bunch.

Hotel Nikko Kanazawa over, 30 stories tall, over Hokuriku, Japan. (Photo Source: Hotel Nikko Kanazawa)

Hirai told Japanese NHK, a national broadcaster, that he wanted the world to know about the good things in Ishikawa, Du reported, especially with the connection of a new Shinkansen line this year making travel to the area easier.

This year’s Ruby Romans started shipping out on Thursday to select stores in Kanazawa, according to WSJ, but it hasn’t been decided when it will go on sale elsewhere. With the first batch of any produce or other foods being considered in the country as bringing good luck, however, this was a quality (albeit expensive) win for Hirai.

To read Lisa Du’s full report in the WSJ, click here.