Anthony Vineyards' Rob Spinelli Talks Grape Outlook
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Grapes in the San Joaquin Valley of California are well under way, and not a moment too soon. With the state settling into the season, I touched base with Anthony Vineyards’ Rob Spinelli, Sales, to see how things are looking as operations crank up.
“We saw a really smooth transition out of Coachella/Mexico without much product left in coolers this year,” Rob shares, observing that growers were able to maximize fruit shipments before the move. “Toward the end of the season, the quality coming out of the desert, for Flames in particular, was not ideal, with lower color and size. This meant demand was up when met with the fresh, high-quality grapes we are seeing now from Bakersfield. This fruit has been desired and is moving well.”
Green grapes especially, Rob says, are looking great, with quality eating and decent volume. He projects that, as varieties transition toward the end of this month, we will likely see the market on greens specifically surge and then tighten, before balancing itself out in August. That is when most of Anthony Vineyards’ still-new sequence of specialty varieties will come on the scene.
“We get into our new specialized grapes in the next week, starting with our Candy Snaps and Sweethearts. Sweethearts will start at the end of July and then go about four weeks,” Rob explains. “We also started our organic grapes for all three colors, which continues to grow.”
Sweet Sapphires will then start the first week of August, followed by Candy Hearts and Candy Dreams in mid-August, making for what should be a domino-style succession for retail programs.
“Overall everything is looking really nice,” Rob concluded, ending our conversation with the eternal farming caveat that is Mother Nature. “She’s been good thus far—we’re supposed to see a heatwave in the coming days, but a little heat is usually nothing to worry about. As always, though, we’ll see.”
When the grapes are strong, summer smiles on. As we continue to follow all key fresh categories around the calendar, AndNowUKnow will bring you the latest.