In the first auction of the season of Ruby Roman grapes in Kanazawa, a bunch of the red grapes sold Tuesday for ¥1.2 million, making it the most expensive ever since the variety first appeared on the market 12 years ago.

The Ruby Roman variety, developed by the Ishikawa Prefectural Government, is known for being extremely juicy, with little acidity and a high sugar content. Each grape weighs more than 20 grams.

"We offered ¥1.2 million to mark the 12 years (since the grape first came on the market) and to celebrate Reiwa's first auction," said Takashi Hosokawa, 45, a manager of a Japanese inn operated by the company that bought the grapes, referring to the new imperial era that started May 1.

Hyakurakuso, which owns three ryokan (Japanese-style inns) in the prefecture, bought the bunch through a wholesaler who bid for the grapes at the central wholesale market in Kanazawa.

"We would like to convey to our customers our exhilaration when we held the (box of) grapes," Hosokawa added.

Worries about the grapes' quality caused by the bad weather at the end of June dissipated as the temperature began to rise early this month.

It is expected that 26,000 bunches of Ruby Roman grapes will be shipped by the end of September, according to the JA Zennoh Ishikawa farming cooperative.