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Available mid-April

Grapes from new Mexican growing region producing earlier

Currently, the only fresh table grapes available in the month of April in the Northern Hemisphere are imported grapes from Chile. However, there’s a new region in the state of Jalisco, Mexico that will be starting earlier than all others. Retailers in both Canada and the US will be able to stock their shelves with grapes picked within just one day of harvest. 



Early harvest
The Molina Group has secured a region that’s well suited for superior quality of early harvest production of table grapes. Depending on when pruning starts, George Matoian with Visalia Produce Sales says fresh table grapes will likely be harvested in April from the new region. “Pruning essentially sets the harvest date,” he says. “For this year we’ll harvest some time in the middle of April. No other grower in the northern hemisphere will have fresh table grapes harvested at this time except us.”

He says this will be a great advantage over grapes that arrive at retail three to six weeks from harvest from South America. “Presently we’re the only grape grower and distributor out of the new district.” He anticipates considerable volume in two to three years."



The region produces early fruit as Matoian says it’s more tropical and has little dormancy. Since there’s an absence of extreme variance in temperatures, he believes the grapevines aren’t stressed during the growing period, giving these regional grapes excellent quality and flavor. Even elsewhere in Mexico, other grower-shippers typically won’t start until the first week of May. Matoian also notes that Molina Group is one of the exclusive distributors of the Cotton Candy grapes and other IFG and Sheehan Genetics out of Mexico.



Cotton Candy in April
Current production in Jalisco is only premium green seedless varieties, but red and black seedless are being planted this season. “We’ll be the first ones to have Cotton Candy available in April,” says Matoian. About 90 percent of their grapes come from the state of Sonora, which will be slightly earlier than last year. “It’s most likely going to be one of our earliest starts ever, if the current warm weather continues,” he says. Once Mexico finishes at the end of June or beginning of July, their California program starts, which will continue shipping many of the IFG/Sheehan genetic varieties into the middle of December. 

For more information: 
George Matoian 
Visalia Produce Sales 
Ph: (559) 897 – 6652 


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