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Sonya apple

Sonya is a crisp large modern apple variety from New Zealand, and started to become available in 2002.  It is also known by its variety name, Nevson.

Sonya has two distinctive features. Firstly, its unusual shape - it is a very tall apple, a shape which is characteristic of 'pearmain' apples such as Adams Pearmain. However the parentage is Gala and Red Delicious, so Sonya is very much in the Golden Delicious and Red Delicious style.

Sonya's other distinctive feature is its exceptional sweetness - which is what you would expect from an apple which is related to both Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. The flavour is strongly reminiscent of raw sugar cane, and there is no trace of acidity whatsover. The dominating sweetness does tend to give Sonya a rather one-dimensional flavour, but served straight from a fridge it is a very pleasant crisp refreshing apple and distinctly different from many other modern varieties.  From the feedback we have received it appears that Sonya appeals much more strongly to North American tastes than European tastes.

A number of visitors have asked where they can buy Sonya apples or trees.  If you are able to supply apples or you are a fruit tree nursery that can supply trees, please get in touch -

USDA identification images for Sonya

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety

    Visitor reviews

    • 12 Sep 2021  IOWA, United States
      I am not an apple eater because the skin is usually too tough and they are too acidic. This apple was PERFECT for me!
    • 13 Sep 2020  VA, United States
      We bought one Sonya Apple to try yesterday from Safeway. Dry and chewy, not crisp or juicy. We'll pass!
    • 17 Oct 2017  MN, United States
      Love, love!!!! these as eating apples...have not yet tried cooking, but supposedly they stay firm, and obviously don't need much added sugar. Key point for me: they are also supposed to *store* well, so I'm hooked on this variety!
    • 26 Dec 2013  UTAH, United States
      Interesting. That would be the best word to describe this apple. The shape is definitely very interesting and was what first intrigued me about trying this apple. The coloring is also interesting - neither a bright red or yellow, but a muted reddish/orangeish/yellowish blend. The apples I tried were all very large and tall, in shape much like an inverted pear with the top being much larger than the narrowing bottom. Flavor-wise the Sonya was also very interesting and to me it seemed every bite from the same apple was different. Sometimes it would be very sweet, but lacking any real flavor or depth. Other bites would be milder in sweetness, but packed with a unique and rich flavor. Some few bites, especially near the core, tended to be very slightly acidic, while overall being rather sweet. The texture too varied from bite to bite - sometimes being nice and crisp, but not too hard, while other times being almost, but not quite, mushy and soft with no firm flesh. Overall the Sonya was a pleasant apple and very interesting one to eat, but nothing too noteworthy that would bring me back to it as a top pick.
    • 28 Jan 2013  VIRGINIA, United States
      I have been on an apple tasting quest, in the attempt to find an apple that I like more than Granny Smith. I like acidic, sweet/tart flavors. So far, Fuji, Gala and Macintosh are leading the pack. I came across the Sonya variety at Walmart the other day, in the middle of a very disappointing apple selection. I bought four of the Sonyas because they looked almost like a pear, and the green/red coloring was intriguing. The ones I bought are very small apples, not the "need two hands to eat it" ones described by others who posted about these. I like my apples cold, because to me, that enhances the crispness. I just tried the first one: very firm flesh (I understand the reference to pear-like consistency) sweet and juicy. No tartness, but very crisp and delicate. I liked this apple, and would definitely buy these again. However, still on the quest to find my perfect apple!
    • 13 Sep 2012  ALBERTA, Canada
      Absolutely adore these apples! I get them at the local farmer's market and they are HUGE and ridiculously yummy. I compare them to a Gala, except bigger! It is very disappointing when I go to the market and they are SOLD out! This has happened several times because they're sooooo good!
    • 01 Aug 2011  TX, United States
      Bought one from the local Kroger grocer. Tasted it at room temperature. Crisp, very slightly sweet. Not what I expected.
    • 01 Aug 2011  VA, United States
      I discovered these Sonya apples at Whole Foods in Charlottesville, VA. The tall shape attracted me and the yellow blush on the side brought to mind a sweetness much like Braeburn. I am hooked! This is now my favorite 'apple a day' for health and vigor!
    • 22 Jul 2011  KENTUCKY, United States
      I just tasted this apple for the first time. I DO agree that it has a *slightly* pear-like consistency, but that doesn't make it a bad apple. It's very sweet as well, one of the sweetest apples I've tasted. All in all, I'd recommend it if you like extremely sweet apples.
    • 03 Jul 2011  SURREY, United Kingdom
      A perfectly acceptable, but perfectly boring, apple. Crisp, juicy, but with no real flavour beyond a light sweetness. I think Red Delicious is a great, hugely under-appreciated apple (if they are mealy, they were either miss-handled or over-stored), and Gala is always a safe bet; but their offspring is the dullest, most generic apple imaginable (well, after Jonagold).
    • 28 May 2011  CUPERTINO/CALIFORNIA, United States
      The sonya variety is fantastic. Bought just one at Piazz'a to see if I liked them. I do. Will return to buy more.
    • 23 Apr 2011  United States
      The Sonya is the best apple I have ever had. Sweet, delisious, crisp. Our local safeway carries them. They are done for the season. Wah...
    • 18 Feb 2011  NORTH CAROLINA, United States
      My coworker bought this apple to me today because my name is "Sonya" but not to my surprise when I ate the sonya apple it was very sweet and crisp (just like me, especially the sweet part). I usually only buy galas but not it will be "SONYAS" for sure!!!
    • 30 Dec 2010  MT 59870, United States
      Is the Sonya apple available for sale? the tree, that is....
    • 24 Dec 2010  WI, United States
      Wow. This is sickeningly sweet apple. Mild and pleasant flavor, but without any balance. I wonder if it would taste any better sprinkled with salt?! Might be good BLENDED in applesauce or cider, but on its own, especially for eating, it is so sweet it might make you ill.
    • 20 Oct 2010  KANSAS, United States
      I'm eating a Sonya apple now, which was purchased from Dillons. The exterior color is dominant red with yellows interwoven. The bite is very crispy, taste is sweet with a subtle floral hint, but not as sweet as a Fuji (my favorite). As another commenter said, there is also a champagne-like taste from the apple's juice. I would not recommend eating this apple with one hand, unless you have big hands.
    • 16 Apr 2010  FL, United States
      We had our first Sonyas today with cheese and wine and it was a perfect compliment both in texture and sweetness. I also plan on including this apple, diced, in chicken salad. We are moving into zone six and are going to be looking for trees so we can grow our own.
    • 14 Apr 2010  Canada
      superb. Maybe the quintessential apple of dreams and fairy tales. The distinct hint of raw sugar cane is wonderful and the hardness and tight crisp flesh make biting a delight. Now the problem is to find them. I will buy a few trees if I can.
    • 01 Mar 2010  United States
      I might try them for cooking in a pinch. Not a good eating apple. Disappointed
    • 24 Feb 2010  ID, United States
      We bought some for the first time yesterday and my husband and I both think they are a delightful change from the more tart apples (which we also enjoy). The apples we purchased are very crisp, so I'm guessing some of the previous commenters may have sampled some older apples. As long as we can get fresh, crisp Sonyas, I will buy them again!
    • 15 Feb 2010  United States
      Very disappointing apple. I looked them up here because the 3 of 7 purchased I've eaten all have an almost pear-like consistency. Probably a bad batch, since they're supposed to be crisp according to the description. Sweet and clean-tasting, but no real flavor to them. Won't but again, even at $.99/lb!
    • 14 Feb 2010  ONTARIO, Canada
      I bought some on a whim and didn't realize they had such parentage - I hate both the RD and Galas and these are no different. Boring and way too sweet for me :-( - I'm thinking applesauce.
    • 21 Dec 2009  NASHVILLE, TN, United States
      Was disappointed to read that Sonyas had the parentage of Red Delicious after purchase, else I would not have bought. Flavor was sweeter than RD but had RD's flimsy, mealy texture and soft bite. Would not purchase again.
    • 21 Dec 2009  NASHVILLE, TN, United States
      Was disappointed to read that Sonyas had the parentage of Red Delicious after purchase, else I would not have bought. Flavor was sweeter than RD but had RD's flimsy, mealy texture and soft bite. Would not purchase again.
    • 12 Dec 2009  TENNESSEE, United States
      These are the best apples I have ever eater, tried 1 and I'm hooked, I bought mine at a local Kroger
    • 05 Dec 2009  CLEVELAND, OH SUBURB, United States
      I picked up a few of these to try. OHMIGOSH......LOVE them!!!!! Very sweet and crisp and the skin on mine was not tough at all. My favorite eating apples are the Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Jonagold and this one ranks right up there and will continue to buy if I can find them.
    • 17 Nov 2009  LANSING, MICHIGAN, United States
      I found this Sonya apple at our local Kroger store, and thought I would try it just for a change. Normally I like Fuji, Gala, or my favorite (but almost impossible to find) Pink Lady. I just finished the first one and I believe it is the best apple I have ever had! The juice was fizzy, like champagne. It was crisp and sweet, not mealy or mushy at all. I only bought 2, so I will go back and buy more if they have any (I hope!)
    • 17 Nov 2009  MARIN COUNTY, CA, United States
      I'd never heard of Sonya but bought two on a whim the other day. I found the skin somewhat thick but I liked the crisp bite, and the flavor is just yummy. Sweet and tart in the right proportions. Although expensive, it would make a great applesauce.
    • 13 Oct 2009  United States
      I found this apple at my local Kroger today. Incredible! My favorite eating apple is the Honey Crisp, but Sonya is high up on the list as well!
    • 12 Oct 2009  VILLA RICA, CARROLL COUNTY, GA, United States
      I actually saw the Sonya apple at my local Walmart store a couple of years ago. This was THE BEST TASTING APPLE I've ever had in my whole life!!! I kid you not!! But....I have never seen anymore since that ONE TIME. I've been looking and looking with no luck since. I guess that Walmart must have received a shipment by accident. I REALLY wish I knew where I could buy more again. I'd probably buy the whole stock!! LOL!
    • 29 Jul 2009  United States
      I love this apple!! Very crisp and sweet! It's now on the top of my list of apples to look out for and purchase! I think some people do not realize that there are other apples out there besides Red Delicious/Granny Smith/Golden Delicious. If your looking for a great, refreshing apple... this is it!
    • 23 Apr 2009  TEXAS, United States
      I was searching for some Honey Crisp or Pinata apples at the local Kroger but had no such luck with finding any. However they had some Sonya apples so I decided to give them a try. I'm eating one right now and it tastes very good. I would definitely buy some more when I go back to Kroger.
    • 22 Apr 2009  KANSAS CITY, United States
      These apples have gotten me to change my diet. I LOVE them, so much I might marry them if I could. They're so sweet, yet not overpowering in any way. I don't get tired of them, they're almost like lemonade or the equivalent of potato chips in fruit.
    • 20 Apr 2009  BRAMPTON, ONTARIO, Canada
      Spotted these in the local Fortino's today and given the name I naturally had to buy a couple to try. My usual favourite is McIntosh, but this is quite pleasant too - firm, juicy, and sweet, and the ones I have are certainly completely lacking in the mealiness that I dislike so much in Delicious apples.
    • 07 Apr 2009  KISSIMMEE, FLORIDA.USA, United States
      As a new variety Sonya is a great find, a definate favorite. A very crisp, sweet and juicy apple I am a great apple fan, and am thrilled to find a new apple with such a crisp, clean flavour. So many apples are soft and tasteless. An apple a day really does keep the doctor away and Sonya has made that remedy a treat.
    • 25 Mar 2009  COLORADO, United States
      Fantastic, crisp apple! Great size, especially for the price. I've only seen them at Target and King Soopers, and each time I shop, I buy a large bag or two!
    • 21 Mar 2009  OTARIO, Canada
      Reminds me of a white pear, not very tasty (bland) or at least the one i had was, its pretty juicy though.
    • 01 Mar 2009  GRINER, United States
      Thesse are the best apples I have ever eaten! My family and i love them. I wasn't a big apple eater before but since I found these I eat them at least 3 to 4 times a week. I am having a hard time finding them also. I have found only 1 store in my area so far.
    • 16 Feb 2009  HUNTINGTON NY, United States
      I just had my first Sonya and I agree that it tastes like a cross between an apple and a pear- and was rather bland. This one had a softer texture which I didn't like; not mushy or mealy, just not crisp. If I want a softer apple I'd have a Macintosh- love the tartness of those. For now I'm sticking with Honeycrisps.
    • 09 Feb 2009  FARGO, ND, United States
      The Sonya variety is nice, however, my favorite is Honeycrisp!
    • 31 Jan 2009  COLUMBUS, OHIO, United States
      I had my first Sonya last week and went back for more. I love them. My most very favorite apple is a Honey Crisp (I eat an apple every day), but it's nice to find another crispy, very sweet apple that satisfies.
    • 18 Jan 2009  SOUTHERN CA, United States
      A week ago came across Sonya apples at Ralph's. I bought just 2 because of size & price. What a great apple!!! THe right size for me and hubby to share. My other favorite is Ambrosia which I discovered not too long ago. Sonya has a crispness like the Red Delicious I remember from the '50s & '60s. The sweet, juicy taste has been bred out of Red Delicious so I do not buy them even when on sale! Thanks for Sonya! I have been back to Ralph's twice for more. Thanks.
    • 28 Dec 2008  GRAND FORKS, ND, United States
      I'm a produce manager and I have seen a big increase in the amount that our store has sold in the last year. It's a favorite of our customers.
    • 24 Dec 2008  MINNEAPOLIS, United States
      I love Sonya apples! I think they taste like a cross between and apple and a pear, without the mealy or mushy texture of a pear (don't get me wrong, I love pears, but they are hit or miss sometimes).
    • 05 Dec 2008  OLATHE, KS, United States
      I just saw the Sonya apple in the store this week and decided to try them. (found them at the Price Chopper in Overland Park by the Sprint Campus) My duaghter hated it but I really like it. I plan on buying more for me!
    • 05 Dec 2008  MISSOURI, United States
      As I sit here eating my Sonya apple, I have to say, that I am addicted to them! I went from having a dislike for apples to an addiction to these! Only problem is that they are hard to find locally, so I want to plant a tree. I eat them morning, noon, and night!
    • 01 Dec 2008  Michigan, United States
      I tried a Sonya apple earlier this year, I think a specimen grown in Washington State, and it is the most bland apple I have ever eaten. I suggest sticking with Fuji for a sweet apple, or Gala in its season. Sansa is another good sweet apple to eat or grow, which was cooperatively bred between New Zealand and Japanese apple breeders. I am disappointed that New Zealand released this inferior variety; maybe it tastes good in their soil, and they did not release it just for size and shape?
    • 25 Nov 2008  WASHINGTON, DC, United States
      Holly from Fairport- I'm going to Rochester for the holiday and was wondering what store you found these in!!! Thanks so much.
    • 05 Nov 2008  FAIRPORT, NY, United States
      I never liked apples growing up and even into my adult years. The apples I had were always mushy or bitter and I decided years ago that I was not an apple eater. My brother-in-law worked for a local grocery store and brought home some hybrids last year that were phenomenal! A few days ago he had me try a Sonya apple and I have been hooked ever since! Now I am a BIG fan of apples.
    • 03 Nov 2008  LENEXA, KS, United States
      My new favorite apple. Only bought 3 then went back and bought 7 more
    • 30 Oct 2008  ILLINOIS, United States
      I purchased only three Sonya apples yesterday to give them a try, I ate one today for lunch today, and I know I will be going back to the store to buy more. I think this is one of the best apples I have ever eaten. Delicious!
    • 30 Oct 2008  SAN DIEGO, CA., United States
    • 29 Oct 2008  United States
      Great apple!
    • 13 Aug 2008  CHARLESTONE, SC, United States
      Would love to know where to buy these apples in the Mt Pleasant / Charleston area. I tasted them when I was visiting Ft Myers, FL.
    • 13 Aug 2008  NASHVILLE, United States
      Please e-mail me and tell me where I can buy honeycrisp apples in Nashville Thanks
    • 05 May 2008  NORTHERN KENTUCKY, United States
      Very refreshing, crisp, juicy and sweet apple. My family loves them. I wish they were a little more affordable. I was actually searching for coupons.
    • 07 Apr 2008  PENNSYLVANIA, United States
      Where can I buy Sonya apple trees?
    • 01 Apr 2008  LAPEER, MI, United States
      We got some of these at our local grocery store yesterday... Yummmy
    • 31 Mar 2008  SUGAR LAND, TX, United States
      I tried my first one today-- Big, crisp and flavorful, the taste reminded me of honey. I may be bias, but this is my new favorite apple.
    • 25 Mar 2008  United States
      Yeah- i just bought it- it is really tall!!! its sweet but not that good... ill stick to my fuji's thanks.
    • 24 Mar 2008  DAYTON, OH, United States
      I just had my first SONYA apple and it was fantastic! I prefer a very crisp and juicy apple, my other favorites are GALAs and FUJIs. The SONYA is now right at the top of my list. While the flavor is not as complex as the FUJI, it is still very, very good. For those arguing here that it is too mealy or mushy, I would argue that you likely got some that were mishandled or just of poor quality. The one I just ate was extremely crisp, juicy and sweet. No hint of the mealy or mushy quality that some have reported. I will buy them whenever I can find them.
    • 13 Feb 2008  SUBURBAN PHILADELPHA, United States
      As we speak, my first-ever batch of Sonya apples are cooking over the stove because I always make my own applesauce. They were on special at Superfresh for a great price. The apples are beautiful to look at. I took a tiny bite which was deliciously crisp. I can't stand a mushy apple. I took a taste of the applesauce & it's sweet and delicious. Surprisingly sweet which is unusual but good. Thank you for hosting this excellent website. I'll continue buying Sonya whenever they're on special. - The Frugal Apple Lover
    • 12 Feb 2008  EVERETT, WA, United States
      The SONYA apple is the best I have ever eaten, Bar None. Up to now the Braeburn, Cameo & Honey Crisp were my favorites. These SONYAS are pricey, but well worth it.
    • 05 Feb 2008  NASHVILLE, TN, United States
      I just tried a Sonya and had to throw it out after one bite. It is way too mealy in texture and sweet and bland in taste for what I like. I much prefer Pink Lady and Honeycrisp apples.
    • 26 Jan 2008  ENNIS, TX. USA, United States
      This apple is better than the red and gold delicious varieties; however, there are many apples with a superior taste. As far as sweet and crisp apples go, this one is inferior.
    • 22 Jan 2008  SPOKANE, United States
      This time of year we buy only Fuji apples because all others are way other than crispy. However, the fujis were weak this last week so my wife bought Sonyas for the first time. Wow! Sweet, juicy and crispy. I love them.
    • 13 Jan 2008  UTAH, United States
      lOVE this apple, its the best ever. We went back and bought the rest. The store is not getting anymore in. Trying to find somemore, or wonder if we can grow our own???
    • 11 Jan 2008  MESQUITE, NEW MEXICO, United States
      Since my wife's name is Sonya, we would like to know why that apple is named Sonya. Thank you.
    • 05 Dec 2007  STILLWATER, OK, United States
      I hadn't heard of a Sonya Apple until a co- worker told me yesterday. At first I thought he was kidding, but then I found it on google. He said it tasted awesome and now I can't wait to try one! Although, with a name like that, I'm sure they are heavenly sweet!! :-P
    • 27 Nov 2007  PENNSYLVANIA, United States
      I just had a Sonya apple. I think they are great. The exotic flavor and the size are great. It is a very fulfilling snack
    • 08 Nov 2007  ROCHESTER, NY, United States
      I just purchased one Sonya apple for $1.23. It was a beautiful apple to look at, unfortunately the taste didn't match the image. The first taste wasn't bad, but as I continued to eat the apple, the sweetness assumed a slight cloying quality and the lack of body texture felt almost a little slimy. I would not buy this apple againt, even if it were sold at bargain prices.
    • 07 Nov 2007  FLORIDA, United States
      First time I was able to get this variety. It is crisp, and has more sweetness than the parent Gala, but not quite as much as the Red Delicious. My favorite is the Fuji, for the crispness that remains even with long storage. This one has the same crispness.
    • 07 Nov 2007  ALBEQUERQUE, United States
      Avery crisp, juicy,and sweet apple. I love it but wish it were a little cheaper.
    • 03 Aug 2007  United Kingdom
      I have just tried Sonya apples for the 1st time. Here are my reactions to the apples: 1. it is a beautiful apple, tall as you have written 2. it is a large attractive apple but I think a bit too large. I eat an apple for lunch every day and it is a bit more than I desire. 3. the price here in Houston was about $1.00/apple. Very pricey. 4. my favorite apples are the Fugi which I eat everyday. I also like and probably prefer the Honey Chrisp but it is very expensive and not very available. 5. The Sonya appears to be a very firm apple from the outside but I found it more mushy than I expected. Of course, it is a tasty apple but I don’t think that unusual.
    • 24 May 2007  TENNESSEE, United States
      I just had my first Sonja apple. It was really different and very sweet.  I still like Pink Lady best of all.
    • 23 May 2007  ATLANTA, United States
      I think it is a very tasty apple and for me it tastes like an apple should taste. My favorite has been Golden Delicious and I like Braeburn as well. I just tried the Sonya for the first time - never heard of them before. Strangely, the Sonya I bought was not tall or even very big. I think I bought it at either Kroger or Publix. My father who has dentures complains that most apples are too hard and crunchy for him to eat, but this one is not. Thanks!" 
    • 02 Apr 2007  CEDAR RAPIDS, IA, United States
      Sonyas are OK, better than Red Delicious, but that's not saying much
    • 29 Mar 2007  NEBRASKA, United States
      I wholeheartedly agree, the Sonya apple is fantastic
    • 23 Mar 2007  NEW JERSEY, United States
      Yes, I agree that the Sonya apple is a delicious apple.  I bought 3 yesterday, because the display information indicated the variety is a cross between Gala and Red Delicious (Gala is one of my favorite eating apples).  After eating the first one, I knew I would purchase this apple again, but couldn't remember the name (only the cross).  I actually searched through the kitchen trash in order to find the discarded fruit sticker which bore the apple's name since the two uneaten ones had no stickers on them.  Then I checked the Internet to be sure I had the correct name for this wonderful apple.  Never have I gone to so much trouble for the sake of an apple!",
    • 13 Mar 2007  NEBRASKA, United States
      Since the first bite, I thought it tasted like a cross between yellow and red Delicious.  I was close.  I like it very much.  I admit, I'm a sweet apple eater and perfer a nice crunch.  'Sonya' and a properly ripened and matured 'Honeycrisp' are now my favorites. Thanks for the background information.
    • 09 Feb 2007  United States
      I just tried a Sonya apple for the first time. I liked it enough to look it up online, and your site was the first thing that came up in a Google search. I was not surprised to read about the Gala/Red Delicious parentage; Gala apples are one of my favorite types for the thinner skin and crisper tartness, but it seems that the Red Delicious has added some bulk and sweetness to the already lovely Gala composition. I find it to be a very nice genetic mix!".
    • 02 Feb 2007  TULSA, United States
      I was never a big apple eater until I tried a Sonya apple, the best I have ever had. I brought one to work today and shared and everyone agreed and now we are all looking for places that sell them. I paid quite a hefty price but it was well worth it
    • 01 Feb 2007  United Kingdom
      I've just tried Sonya for the first time this week. Very boring apple. Give me a Discovery any day!
    • 01 Jan 2007  United States
      My sister and I both agree with your assessment of the flavor of the Sonya Apple – it has become our new favorite.

    Tree register

    United States

    • Chuck Peters in 4911 Konnowac Pass Rd, Wapato, WASHINGTON USA



    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Gala and Red Delicious
    • Originates from: New Zealand
    • Introduced: 2000
    • Developed by: Nevis Fruit, Central Otago


    • Country of origin: New Zealand


    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile

    Where to buy fresh fruit

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