Origins:      Turkish, Iranian

The sultana raisin was traditionally imported to the English-speaking world from the Ottoman Empire. Turkey and Australia are major producers.

The sultana grape’s American name, Thompson Seedless, refers to William Thompson, a viticulturist who was an early grower in California and is sometimes credited with introducing the variety. According to the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, the two names are synonymous. Virtually all of California raisin production (approximately 97% in 2000) and roughly one-third of California’s total grape area is of this variety, making it the single most widely planted variety.