Anthony Vineyards' John Harley Discusses New Facility Expansion in Bakersfield
- by Jessica Donnel
BAKERSFIELD, CA - Even more big moves are underway at California grape provider Anthony Vineyards. On the heels of the company’s announcement that it would be providing expanded offerings through its new marketing agreement with International Fruit Genetics (IFG), Anthony Vineyards is also gearing up to finish a 127,500-square-foot expansion to its Bakersfield, CA facility. Once completed, Sales Manager John Harley tells me that the expansion will increase the company’s in-house packing capabilities, as well as allowing for an increase in covered receiving and shipping areas.
“We found that there was a shortage of cooling capacity in the South Valley,” John shares with me when I ask him what the goal of this new move is. “With the grape industry's new acreage in the South Valley totaling upwards of 10,000 acres, we realize that the choke point is often the cooling. So, we looked at our needs and the needs of our neighbors, and decided adding on to our facility was the right move.”
In total, about 120,000-square-feet of the growth will be dedicated to pre-cooling, while an additional 7,500-square-feet will go towards a new packing area. These state-of-the-art additions will not only allow for the company to enhance its position in food safety, but also allow for increased efficiency when caring for both its products and those of its associates. John tells me Anthony Vineyards has set the end of July as its goal for the project to be complete, with phase’s that will come on line all through next month.
Anthony Vineyards is currently wrapping up its Coachella grape deal and beginning its transition to the San Joaquin Valley, John tells me. “We should start transitioning next week,” he says. “The season so far has been very good. The quality has been good and the deal in general has been good over all. We are looking for that to continue once we start in the San Joaquin Valley deal.”
So, what does the future look like for Anthony Vineyard? In addition to the premium high flavor varieties developed by IFG nurseries, including Sweet Sapphire®, the Jack Salute®, Sweet Globe®, and Sweet Jubilee®, John says the company is looking towards organics and other new varieties.
“We want to continue the development of our organic grape program, as well as introduction of all of the new varieties that we have been working with for the last few years,” he adds. “These include reds such as Timco, Magenta, Allison, Krissy, Gemma Rose, and the new green seedless varieties, Ivory, Timpson, and Arra 15.”
As Anthony Vineyards looks to the launch of its expanded facility at the end of next month, AndNowUKnow is keeping our eyes on the growth and innovations to come.