Columbine Vineyards' Keith Andrew Discusses Strong California Grape Market & Proprietary Varieties
DELANO, CA - Retailers looking to capture sales in the produce department know that California table grapes are a hot destination, and this year they are as highly coveted as ever. As we move through the second half of the summer and look towards fall, Columbine Vineyards is bringing a full portfolio to the table with proprietary varieties leading the way.
Sales Manager Keith Andrew took a moment to share the progress of Columbine’s season so far, and what we can expect as September’s cooler temps approach.
“We have had very good quality and flavor in all varieties from the beginning through this point in the harvest,” Keith shares, adding that volume will be roughly the same as last year, though the heat related issues have tightened supplies.
“Markets on all varieties have been very good to excellent so far, especially on all the Red Seedless varieties in the valley. Currently, it is the same or higher than the past couple of years to date. Demand has stayed ahead of supplies for red varieties since the beginning and fairly good for the green and black varieties. But quality is still at the peak of flavor and we are excited to move into our proprietary varieties.”
Columbine will begin harvesting its proprietary Milano® and Black Globe® grapes at the end of this month in addition to Krissy, Scarlet Royal, and Red Globe varieties. With the company’s proprietary Holiday® program approaching in September, Keith tells me that sizing and quality look very good at this point.
“We will have more volume this year compared to the past three seasons. Having sufficient water from the wet winter, along with newly drilled wells, has been a wonderful blessing that has allowed us to give the plant whatever amount of water it has needed to stay healthy and hydrated during this extended heat spell we are experiencing this year,” Keith said.
Columbine will be packaging all of its grapes in high-graphic, stand-up bags with additional POS material like recipe cards, display, and poster graphics.
Stay tuned as we bring you more on the California table grape market and Columbine Vineyards!