(Feb. 20) California grape exports have more than doubled in the past decade, but the California Table Grape Commission, Fresno, is not resting on its laurels.

Susan Day, the commission’s vice president for international marketing, made two key stops in Europe this month. After meeting with importers and exporters at Fruit Logistica, an international produce trade fair in Berlin, Germany, Day traveled to Russia in mid-February to meet with importers and U.S. trade officials.

Day said Russians like the quality and size of California table grapes. In a news release, she said the California harvest season provides an advantage in that the grapes are shipped to Russia in the late fall, when cold weather limits the availability of Russian-grown fresh fruit.

“Russia has the potential to become a major market for our industry,” Day said in the release.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Russia imported more than 335 metric tons of California table grapes in 2006.