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US (CA): Coachella good precursor to table grape season
Shortly before the Coachella table grape season wraps up and production shifts north to California's San Joaquin Valley, production is similar to last year's and quality is reported as excellent.
"Coachella is an intro for us into the season," said Jim Llano of Castle Rock Vineyards. "Harvesting there began in early June and will continue for about one more week, but most of our production is in the San Joaquin Valley." When Coachella wraps up, harvesting will continue in the Arvin and Delano area for Castle Rock.
Quality for early varieties has been very good, said Llano. Sizing and color has been good, which Llano believes will be very attractive to consumers.
"We've had a very even crop," he said. "Size of fruit and bunch sizes have been very uniform." He added that volume out of Coachella is currently about 90 percent of last year's total pack-out with some time still left to make up the difference. By the time harvest wraps up there, he expects the final pack-out for Coachella will be similar to last year's.
Harvesting in the San Joaquin Valley is expected to begin about a week into July and statewide production will continue into early 2013.
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