Nantahala raspberry

djofnelson(7ACtrlVAfoothills)July 13, 2009

I came across this new raspberry and thought others in the upper South and lower Mid-Atlantic might be interested. Large size, later ripening, and the flavor is supposedly as good or better than Heritage and Caroline. Nourse is selling them in small trial quantities for spring 2009 (email them directly).

'NantahalaÂ, is a new primocane fruiting red raspberry (R. idaeus L.) released by North Carolina State University. This is the first red raspberry to be released from the bramble breeding program in over 50 years. The primary characteristics that distinguish ÂNantahala from other red raspberry cultivars are its late harvest season and larger berry size than other industry standards. ÂNantahala also has a highly attractive red color and slightly conical shape and delectable flavor.


ÂNantahala ripens later than most primocane

fruiting cultivars. Harvest typically commences

the first week of September in Laurel Springs,

NC (elevation 2850 ft) and the third week of

August in Mills River (formerly Fletcher) NC

(elevation 2066 ft). Harvest continues 2¬3 weeks

until a hard frost occurs. ÂNantahala is

recommended for the mountain regions of North

Carolina and adjacent states. The late harvest

will enable growers in that region to harvest high

quality fruit later into the fall than in the past.

Studies are currently underway to assess

performance and season of ripening of

ÂNantahala in high tunnels at high elevations.

Replicated yield trials were conducted at the

Upper Mountain Research Station in Laurel

Springs and at the Mountain Horticultural Crops

Research Station in Fletcher, NC. The total yield

of ÂNantahala was 3621 g/20 ft plot and 1434

g/20 ft plot in Laurel Springs and Fletcher, NC

respectively, which is lower than other cultivars

(Table 1). However, ÂNantahalaÂs berry (3.5 g) is

larger than both Heritage and Caroline, two of

the present industry standards.

Sensory Evaluations conducted by a trained

panel at the NCSU Department of Food Science

in the fall of 2006. Three standard cultivars

(Caroline, Heritage and a store bought

"California" variety) and ÂNantahala were

evaluated in blind tests. Panelists scored all

cultivars for overall acceptability, red color,

shape, flavor, firmness, juiciness, seediness,

and fuzziness. ÂNantahalaÂs flavor, texture and

seediness were as good as or better than the

three other cultivars in the panel. Appearance

(color and shape), of ÂNantahala was rated

superior to all of the other cultivars.

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I meant to ask if anyone has had the opportunity to taste this variety (or spoken to someone that has)?

Also, I'd previously emailed one of the developers at NC State to ask for a source and she said that Nantahala should do quite well in central VA.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 9:42AM
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glenn_russell(6b RI)

This is the first I've heard of it. Thanks for posting the info about it though!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2009 at 10:13AM
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I was able to try Nantahala and Heritage at the same time and Nantahala was DELICIOUS! Heritage was flavorless in comparison. These berries were both produced in a high tunnel together.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2011 at 5:01PM
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I thought I'd follow up on my post now that I've got my first full crop and tasted a few hundred Nantahala berries over the last few months. I grow Heritage, Caroline, Prelude, Anne, Autumn Britten, Autumn Bliss, Cascade Delight, Kiwi Gold, Josephine, Encore, and Canby, and Nantahala is the best tasting red raspberry I've ever tasted. It is somewhat sweeter and more flavorful (and a bit larger) than Caroline or Prelude (two of my favorites). I agree that the flavor difference with my Heritages was far from subtle. It also doesn't seem to vary as much in flavor based on weather, like my other raspberries do. This is my first full crop, so we'll see about longevity and disease resistance. Nourse Farms sells it (you need to call or email them directly).

As an aside, my new Josephines also have good flavor for such a large berry (and are also sold at Nourse).

    Bookmark   October 26, 2011 at 5:12PM
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It's always great to receive positive feedback on our recent cultivar releases. Thank you.
There is also a new red raspberry cultivar released from Cornell University named 'Crimson Giant' and another, yellow floricane fruiting (summer bearing) cultivar, out of Washington State University name 'Cascade Gold' which might be of interest to you.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 12:32PM
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fran_always(z6 PA)

Just for information, the Nantahala raspberry is also sold as 'Sweet Repeat' (trademark)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 8:01PM
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drew51 SE MI Z5b/6a

"Just for information, the Nantahala raspberry is also sold as 'Sweet Repeat' (trademark)"

Funny as the black raspberry "Niwot" is also sold as "sweet repeat"
Nourse still sells Nantahala, but you have to buy 5 plants. Something I don't care for, but it's almost cheaper to buy 5 at Nourse than one at Gurney's! I like to buy only one plant, if I like it I will propagate the suckers.
Nantahala is not in the top ten best sellers at Nourse. Probably because of the late season fruiting.
If you want to try it buy one at Indiana Berry for $3.25. Gurney's wants $12.99. I bought from indiana and the plants are huge! Beautiful! Let's keep them in business, and reward such a low cost place!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:26PM
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Thank you for the update on your Nantahla raspberry. I also want to second Indiana Berry. Prices and shipping are very reasonable. Customer service is A+. They recently accidentally sent me the wrong package and will be sending the correct items immediately, telling me to keep what they did send as well. Hence, I'm researching Nantahala raspberry as this was one of the items I get to keep.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2014 at 4:58PM
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