Mexican grape production has begun out of Jalisco, Mexico.
George Matoian of Fresh Farms in Kingsburg, CA says it started its grape harvest approximately two weeks ago with all the major varieties of green seedless along with Cotton Candy grapes. “We’ll also have red seedless grapes available in future years,” he says.
Production in the Jalisco region has started as per the usual timing. “That region is a very temperate climate zone. Like with grapes grown in Peru, you can sway the harvest period to any month you want. We wanted the crop to come off in April,” says Matoian.
As for the remaining Mexican and Coachella, CA crop, Matoian says that won’t start until about May 10-12. That’s when grape production will begin on green and black seedless with Flames starting May 18-20, all of which is later than normal.
More Mexican plantings
Matoian says there is also more volume coming right now because each year plantings are increased. “It’s a nice segue into the traditional Mexican deal which starts in May. This year feels opportunistic because Chile had that devastating rain during their harvest period,” he says. In total, Mexico is anticipated to produce slightly less than last year’s 22 million boxes. This year’s estimates are 21.5 million with the reduction coming from largely red globe and black seedless grapes.
The peak promotional period on Mexican grapes will start at the beginning of June and run throughout the month.
Along with Mexico, offshore grapes are still arriving. “But they range from excellent to poor in quality and pricing ranges depending on variety, size, condition and more. There are wholesalers selling for $5 and grapes out there for $45 and everywhere in between,” says Matoian. “The pricing on Mexican grapes is a little stronger this year because the availability of good green seedless for April will be quite diminished.”