The trickiest part for Sonoran growers, however, could be finding their way to maximize profits since volumes for their six-week window will meet some competition from Coachella, Calif., product, which could also see high volumes as well as a normal or slightly earlier-than-normal start to its deal.
Another part of the profit equation centers on how receptive retailers and consumers will be to incoming product after a disappointing denouement to the Chilean deal.
“Chile’s late-season crop has had some quality problems and has been expensive,” Pandol said.
Perlettes, the first Sonoran grape variety to come into the market, have started shipping from May 4-9 during the past three seasons but many believe this year’s first shipments will come before the end of April. Flames, typically starting the second week of May and hitting promotable volume around May 20, are followed by sugraones, red globes and other varieties (mainly black seedless).
Like grape volume, attendance at this year’s summit looks to easily eclipse that of recent years. Monica Avalos, administrative manager for AALPUM, said April 25 that she expects more than 200 on hand for this year’s summit, compared to 195 last year, which was the attendance record for the event, Avalos said.