Castle Rock Vineyards' Laura Berryessa Discusses Coachella and Arvin Seasons
- by Jordan Okumura
DELANO, CA - It’s that time again when retailers look to the coveted California table grape industry to bring a premium product to the fresh produce department that drives traffic, excitement, and sales through summer and into the fall. At the top of its table grape game is Castle Rock Vineyards, with harvest kicking off in Coachella, California, in late May.
“This year we are anticipating outstanding quality and great tasting fruit for our retail partners,” Sales Manager Laura Berryessa, tells me. “Our program in Coachella will run through July 4th if Mother Nature cooperates. Growing conditions have been very good and we will have enough volume to meet our customers’ needs as demand continues to grow for our program.”
Castle Rock packs its table grapes in bulk as well as in clamshells, beginning with Flames and Sugraones, which will be followed by popular varieties that include Summer Royal and Sweet Celebration grapes.
“For our Sweet Celebration grapes, we will have larger volumes this season, making it an ideal year for retailers to showcase the revered variety,” Laura says. “While Coachella is a small window for us, we know that once California table grapes are available, retailers will jump at the chance to stock them. This region allows us to bring them an in-demand produce item, just as summer gets underway.”
Next up after Castle Rock wraps at its Coachella ranches? Arvin. The company will then move north through the state’s Central Valley, supplying retailers with a premium grape experience through December.
“The goal for us is always the same, wherever we are growing: pack the best quality grapes we can, cultivate a great tasting product, and service our customers at the highest level,” Laura shares with me.
After all, it’s all about the flavor!