As the table grape season in the Coachella Valley winds down, harvest in the San Joaquin Valley is just getting under way.
“Overall, it was a successful season for the Coachella Valley,” says Barry Bedwell, president of the California Grape & Tree Fruit League. “The quality of the grapes was excellent and movement, overall, has been good. Production is coming in at about 8 percent to 9 percent under the 6.5 million or so boxes originally expected for that area.”
Yields in the San Joaquin Valley are also down slightly from earlier projections. “The industry was talking about a total statewide table grape crop of about 98 million boxes this year,” Bedwell says. “But, that could be adjusted down a few percentage points.”
Although the maturity of grapes now being harvested in the San Joaquin Valley is a few days behind a year ago, sugar levels and color are holding up well, he says.
Bedwell reports seeing a number of well-maintained vineyards with impressive looking crops near Delano July 9. That included a Flame Seedless vineyard, which he visited.
“Size and color of the grapes there were exceptionally good,” he says. “Even though we’ve had a couple of heat spikes this season, temperatures during June were consistently below average, allowing the vineyards and berries to develop very well.”