Anthony Vineyards' Rob Spinelli Discusses New Varieties, Plans for CPMA
BAKERSFIELD, CA - As we round into spring, the CPMA Convention and Trade Show is fast approaching—and hot on its heels is the extended grape-growing season for Anthony Vineyards. Though many grape growers have experienced setbacks during the recent season, Anthony Vineyards has continued to expand, diversify its offerings, and add category-growing innovations to its portfolio.
I recently spoke to Rob Spinelli, Sales, to learn more about the ways in which Anthony Vineyards continues to grow, provide for its partners, and court consumers with new on-trend varieties, expanded organic acreage, and more.
“The main thing with Anthony Vineyards is that we’re in a growth pattern still—in many ways,” Rob tells me. “In addition to our conventional offerings, we’re going to continue to grow our organic program—our line of grapes underneath the Anthony’s Organics label. We’re going to continue to grow that part of our portfolio. And we have our new specialty varieties that will be coming out—Funny Fingers, Candy Hearts, Candy Dreams, Candy Snaps, Sweet Hearts, and we’ll have the Sweet Sapphire, as well, to complement our entire program.”
Rob tells me that, this new “third term”—specialty in addition to organic and conventional—is a big part of Anthony Vineyards’ growth plans. And with limited availability and enhanced flavor profiles, these new niche offerings are adding appeal to produce departments throughout North America.
“These varieties are still new to the grape world, and they can be merchandised as a special grape to the consumer,” says Rob. “They’re in short supply—there aren’t a lot out there. These are limited volume, in-and-out of stock products, that are lending excitement to the grape category right now. They have a better flavor profile and eating experience. We have one, the Candy Snap, with a hint of strawberry; it’s unique, and it’s different. It’s not your traditional red grape. The Candy Heart has more of a raspberry flavor; it’s a grape but it has a different eating experience.”
Anthony Vineyards is exploring a number of options intended to enhance its early season offerings out of the Coachella Valley, too, Rob tells me. In addition to the traditional Flame Seedless and Sugarone, the company is trialing Valley Pearl and Sweet Globe varieties, eventually transitioning into its San Joaquin Valley growing—with an emphasis on growing niche, conventional, and organic offerings.
“Probably around fifty percent of what Anthony Vineyards currently sells is organic. And that will start in the middle of May in the Coachella Valley and go all the way through until the first week of December,” Rob notes. “And we will have a full line of red, green, and black seedless grapes—with a number of new varieties, as well.”
Attendees at the CPMA Convention and Trade Show in Montreal, Quebec, can visit the Anthony Vineyard team at the Palais des congrès de Montréal: Exhibition and Convention Center at booth #923, April 2-4, to learn more about the company’s expansive agenda.
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