AMC Fazio adds varieties, packaging

California grape business updates 1AMC Fazio, Fresno, Calif., is adding two grape varieties to its offering this year and plans new packaging under its California’s Finest Table Grape tagline.

The varieties are sheehan timco and sheehan krissy, each a red seedless.

Timco availability is expected early September into late October. It’s offered two weeks before crimson. The elongated grape’s flavor is similar to flames and it has high brix levels and long shelf life, according to the company.

Krissy is offered from early August into mid-September.

The new packaging will include red, green and black labels as well as bicolor and tricolor labels.

AMC Fazio has also revamped its Champagne Grapes label. Champagne Grapes will be in stores early July through late August. The product is delicate enough that even the stems can be eaten, according to the company. The new packaging aims to reflect that delicacy with a light look.


Anthony to market Top Hat grapes

Anthony Vineyards, Bakersfield, Calif., has become the marketer for Top Hat grapes, the label of Lamont, Calif.-based H. Spitzer & Sons.

The company will be selling about 350,000 boxes of conventionally grown grapes for the grower this year, said Rob Spinelli, a salesman.

“We’ll be marketing that label as well as our own,” he said.


Agronomist joins Bravante Produce

Bravante Produce, Reedley, Calif., has named Carl Pimentel agronomist for its farming operations. He started in mid-May.

Pimentel was previously an in-house adviser on production of table grapes and stone fruit to Fresno, Calif.-based Gerawan Farming, where he worked for 11 years. His experience also included working for Bakersfield, Calif.-based Superior Farming Co., acquired by Sun World, Bakersfield, in 1989; and Anthony Vineyards, Bakersfield.


Grape commission on a winter mission

The California Table Grape Commission. Fresno, plans to push its marketing efforts further in January this year, said Kathleen Nave, president.

“We’re buying media in January and have some special promotion programs for retailers moving into that month,” Nave said.

“It had been our mission to recapture the month of December for the California table grape industry. Having accomplished that, our new mission is to capture the month of January.”



Castle Rock builds Sweet Celebrations

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

California grape business updates 1Columbine 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.