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Anthony Vineyards' organic table grapes poised to fill category void

By
Kyle Eberth, Northwest editor

The California table grape season is beginning to ramp up for Anthony Vineyards’ Coachella operation. From Italian immigrant to fully integrated grower-shipper, Anthony Vineyards is the realization of the American Dream, bringing its high-quality table grapes to market for generations. Today Anthony Vineyards Organics is a leader in the organic sector and this season looks to capitalize on the opportunity to fill a market void with their organic table grapes.

“Everything's looking good, timing is looks good,” said John Harley, vice president of sales and marketing for Anthony’s. “We'll do a little bit next week, but the bulk of it will start probably the week of the 16th.” Anthony Vineyards will start with organic reds, followed by conventionals, and organic greens the following the week after.

Headquartered out of Bakersfield, CA, Anthony Vineyards has acreage in both districts, beginning in Coachella, then moving north into the San Joaquin Valley. There’s a small overlap with timing in both districts allowing Anthony Vineyards promotable program to run mid-May through November.

“We continue to grow and develop as we put in new varieties –– a majority, if not all of them into our organic program,” said Harley.  With dedicated acreage first coming online in 2002, Anthony Vineyards has been a leader in the organic grape category. “We've been developing and replanting in the desert for the past six to seven years with new varieties –– always looking to upgrade our varietal profile.

“This year the company will see increased volume of Sweet Globes, Autumn Crisp and other Sun World numbered varieties,” said Harley. Industry trends continue to evolve, with growing movement toward newer varieties that offer dynamic flavor profiles and sweetness.

California grape growers have their eyes on the current market, Harley highlighted the over-saturation of the table grape sector due to Chilean product still on the East Coast. “There was a surge of volume towards the latter part of the Chilean import deal,” said Harley, but remained confident adding, “it's not anything that we haven't dealt with in the past – –we're well equipped having been at this for the past 20 years.

“The current opportunity for us is that the industry hasn't had organic grapes available to them in any kind of volume for probably for the past three to four months,” said Harley. “It lends us an opportunity to fill that void over the next couple of weeks with our incoming production.”

While Harley cited additional challenges with the increased cost to California labor and supply chain shortages on packaging and shipping, he relayed confidence in the Anthony Vineyards team and the company's partnerships. “We’re confident in the programs we have set up and I’m optimistic with what’s happening in the grape industry it’s continually growing and evolving,” said Harley.

“Grapes are a healthy product –– they’re sought after, and are always top of mind for consumers this time of year,” said Harley.

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