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Major volume growth for Grapeman Farms/Stevco

Grapeman Farms and its marketing d.b.a., Stevco Inc., will have more volume this year than last year in their California grape program, according to Jared Lane, vice president of sales and marketing.

“We’re adding a million boxes from last year to this year” for the season overall, Lane said. “All the growth is in new varieties.” Some of that growth will come in the early part of the San Joaquin Valley season.

02-Stevco-JaredJared LaneGrapeman Farms is in the grape business year-round, with production in Mexico and South America and in the Coachella Valley as well as in the San Joaquin Valley.

“It appears this year the date is a little bit later than last year,” Lane said. “I expect to start Flames around July 2” in the Arvin district. “Last year, we started in [late] June.”

This year Grapeman Farms is seeing growth for Ivory, an early green seedless also known as Sheegene 21. “It eats really well,” Lane said. “It has a hint of Muscat. It gets a lot higher sugar than a Sugraone.”

The Ivory variety is replacing Princess at Grapeman Farms, Lane explained. “It is a little bit easier to grow and harvest and has more customer acceptance. It consistently eats extremely well, so the flavor of the grape is one that is in demand.”

Lane believes that the Ivory has a promising future, and he expects the company to put in more plantings of the variety.

In the red grape category, Flame Seedless continues to be the predominant early season variety for the company. In addition, Grapeman will be harvesting some Passion Fire grapes this year, also known as Arra 29.