Washington State’s New Apple Variety Needs a Name
A new sweet-tart apple variety called WA 64 will be hitting the grocery stores in about five years but a new name will be chosen this spring.
Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, it is not as hard but is crisper and juicier than its Cripps Pink parent.
For now, the variety is called WA 64 because it’s the WSU breeding program’s 64th apple to reach this stage of development on it's way to market.
A contest will be announced so the public can help come up with a name for WA 64, cross between Honeycrisp and Cripps pink apples. Wenatchee area residents will be able to sample the new variety in late January.
WA 64 is in the final stretch of a long process. The first crop is expected to hit the fresh market in 2029 but WA 64 has been under development and testing 2001. The fruit has been grown near Wenatchee at the Sunrise Research Orchard and in Quincy, WA .
Kate Evans at the WSU Tree Fruit Research Center in Wenatchee says WA 64 is a smaller variety with a pink blush and stays firm from harvest time, through CA (controlled atmosphere) storage and refrigeration.
WA 64 fared favorably versus Honeycrisp or Cripps pink apples during some taste testing in Wenatchee and Yakima. “In its bite, it’s more akin to Cripps Pink than Honeycrisp,” according to Evans. “In consumer taste-tests, people have preferred its texture to Cripps. It’s crisper than Cripps Pink.”
A licensing process to give orchardists access to the new variety is underway at WSU's College of Agriculture. Growers will likely start raising the fruit in 2026 and will have exclusive rights for some time. Similarly, Cosmic Crisp apples are exclusively grown in Washington for at least the first decade of production since growers here helped finance the development.