|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).
'Nantahala’, 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 ‘Nantahala’ from other red raspberry cultivars are its late harvest season and larger berry size than other industry standards. ‘Nantahala’ also has a highly attractive red color and slightly conical shape and delectable flavor.
‘Nantahala’ 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. ‘Nantahala’ 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
‘Nantahala’ 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 ‘Nantahala’ 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, ‘Nantahala’s 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 ‘Nantahala’ were
evaluated in blind tests. Panelists scored all
cultivars for overall acceptability, red color,
shape, flavor, firmness, juiciness, seediness,
and fuzziness. ‘Nantahala’s’ flavor, texture and
seediness were as good as or better than the
three other cultivars in the panel. Appearance
(color and shape), of ‘Nantahala’ was rated
superior to all of the other cultivars.