Sohan Samran is having an easier time managing his wine grapes this year than in 2011. The Madera County farmer grows 850 acres of wine grapes in his Bapu Farming Company vineyards near Madera, Calif.

This year’s bloom began in the first few days of May, about a week earlier than in 2011. By the end of May, his French Colombard and White Zinfandel vineyards were looking the best.

Samran also grows Cabernet Sauvignon, Rubired, and Muscat Alexandria, which he planted three years ago. This year, he replanted part of the original 150 acres of Muscat Alexandria, which suffered from the dry, cool winter. He’ll harvest his first crop from the undamaged fields this year.

“Hopefully, prices in the grape market will be higher this year to help make up for some of that extra expense,” he says.

He sells a portion of his grapes on the spot market and has long term contracts for the remainder of his crop. Last year, Samran says, he was able to sell all of his grapes, and expects that will be the case this year, too, as the market continues to strengthen.