California grape shipments got off to a slow start last spring for a number of reasons, but excellent volume and quality with not shipping gaps are seen through Thanksgiving.
Fruit Royale of Dinuba, CA describes the season as now being “off to the races.” There was a small overlap with Mexico, which slowed the start of the California grape shipments, plus hot weather in August slowed coloring of red and black grapes.
King Fresh Produce Inc. of Dinuba, CA, has estimated that California will ship 120 million cartons of fresh table grapes this season, 10 percent increase over the 109 million cartons shipped in 2017. This includes heavy volume with red, red, green and black grapes through Thanksgiving.
Chuck Olsen Co. of Visalia, CA, sees a crop of 110 million to 114 million cartons being shipped and is pleased with overall fruit quality and a good set.
Olsen explained that the natural shatter, which is a self-thinning process, was excellent this year producing large, loose grape bunches. “We have the makings of a very nice crop that is eating very well.”
Jasmine Vineyards Inc. of Delano, CA, also sees the San Joaquin Valley as being excellent, with uninterrupted supplies well into December. Although there was a slow start to the season, shipments picked up nicely in mid-August and peak loadings should continue into latter October.
Grapeman Farms, which markets it grapes through Stevco of Los Angeles is equally optimistic. It has reported quality as “phenomenal,” dispite a lot of hot weather in July and August, However, the growing season leading up to harvest was been perfect.
San Joaquin Valley grapes – grossing about $4100 to Dallas.