Mexico, Coachella grapes gain late momentum

06/25/2013 11:29:00 AM
Mike Hornick

“The San Joaquin Valley crop, the next region to start, is 10 days or so ahead," said George Matoian, sales and marketing director for Kingsburg-based Visalia Produce Sales Inc. "So we have pretty much condensed the marketing period into a smaller time.”

“Preliminary numbers say Mexico will be a little over 17 million (boxes),” Matoian said. “They’re revising that estimate. Flames will be maybe 10% down, and sugraones anywhere from 10% to 15% down. But it’s hard to say because we haven’t finished harvesting either variety.”

Jim Llano, account sales manager for Delano-based Castle Rock Vineyards, said quality, color, consistency and brix levels were all good on grapes out of Coachella.

The movement there from flame seedless to sugraones and summer royals — from red to green and black — should be repeated in Arvin, he said.

Castle Rock also had thompson seedless and scarlet royals in Coachella. The scarlet royals were expected to continue in Arvin.

The industry was getting support from retailers for the anticipated overlap of deals, said Jeff Olsen, vice president at Visalia-based The Chuck Olsen Co.

“There are a lot of ads going right now,” he said June 6. “Prices are down to where they are promotable.

"When they were in the high- to mid-$20s, grapes weren’t very promotable. Now the pricing is right and that’s obviously helping Mexico on the reds, for one, and Coachella.”

“They’re pushing grapes,” Olsen said. “Tree fruit is still a bit high but starting to come down."

People like to have a change from that Chilean fruit.”


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