California grape business updates 1 - The Packer

California grape business updates 1

06/27/2014 02:10:00 PM
Mike Hornick

Castle Rock Vineyards, Delano, Calif., is entering its second year of commercial production on Sweet Celebration, a red seedless grape from International Fruit Genetics that only a handful of California producers grow.

Sweet Celebration normally ships mid- to late-August and past Labor Day.

“It had a nice reception last year,” said Jim Llano, sales manager.

Llano said he expected to start Arvin production with flame seedless grapes the week of June 23.

“Following the flames, we’ll go into sugraones there as well, followed by summer royals,” Llano said.

Other varieties follow in July and August. By early August, the company expects to move up to Delano for packing Castle Rock reds and princess grapes.

Red globes are likely to start in late August and continue into November. Autumn kings arrive in late September or October. Seedless fall varieties include scarlet royal and autumn royal.


Columbine opens storage site

Courtesy Columbine VineyardsColumbine Vineyards planned to open a cold storage facility with more than 200,000 square feet are area in time for the start of table grape production in Arvin, Calif.

The cold storage is adjacent to Columbine’s ranch in Delano, Calif. Columbine Vineyards is based in Delano.

“When we start picking grapes, we’ll be able to use the facility,” sales manager Anthony Stetson said. “We think we’re going to start around June 23 picking flames in Arvin.”

Production growth in recent years prompted the construction, he said.

“We’ve increased our acreage by about 50% over previous years,” he said.

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