An early look at the Peruvian grape season indicates high-quality fruit will be coming again this season. “Things are looking great at our ranches in Ica, Peru. Our executive team just returned from Peru and their report indicates the vineyards are progressing as planned,” says Vanguard CEO Craig Stauffer. “Weather in our growing region has been ideal for this stage of the growth cycle, with no adverse effects indicated so far. In comparison to last year at this time, the vines appear to be following a very similar pattern. This is good news, as last year delivered some of the best quality grapes we have ever harvested off our Peruvian ranches.”
For Vanguard, it continues to balance its portfolio of grape varieties as it focuses on perfecting its current plantings while also strategically transitioning certain ranches to up-and-coming varieties with greater aesthetics and flavor profiles. This transition currently includes both red and green seedless varieties that Stauffer describes as “super flavorful fruit that will help us extend our season.”
Craig Stauffer says in comparison to last year at this time, the vines appear to be following a very similar pattern.
At this point, scheduling looks to be similar to last season’s timing. “However, Vanguard Peru is proactively setting the crops on certain ranches to deliver fruit 7 to 10 days earlier. Our retail and wholesale partners were challenged last year with light supply during the transition from California to Peru,” says Stauffer. “We expect fruit to arrive a bit sooner to assist our partners in bridging this supply gap.” He adds though that this decision will not impact the duration of its availability window. “Aided by improving yields from maturing vines, we still expect to have proprietary red seedless through mid-April 2023 and proprietary green seedless through early-May 2023,” he says.
The season is anticipated to start in early October out of Piura (Northern Peru), followed by Ica (the middle region of Peru) where Vanguard’s ranches are located.
As for demand, green seedless varieties are seeing particularly strong demand in both Asia as well as North America, while proprietary varieties, in general, continue to gain interest from consumers every season. “As consumers now eagerly anticipate the arrivals from Peru, we expect continued demand growth,” says Stauffer.
Green seedless varieties are seeing particularly strong demand in both Asia as well as North America.
As for pricing, it’s expected to be very strong through mid-February which is when Chilean product becomes more readily available in the marketplace. “As volume from both Chile and Peru begins to arrive, pricing will adjust based on incoming supplies and coinciding demand,” says Stauffer.
However, increasing costs continue to create challenges along with inflation, all of which will put great pressure on the entire supply chain. Stauffer says all parties must share in these increased costs and recognize that everyone is in business together. “Great attention to detail is being implemented in all areas to maximize our efficiency and minimize costs wherever possible. This includes agriculture inputs, labor, and logistics,” he says. “On the sales side, retail promotions during heavy volume arrival periods are already being discussed. Last year presented a lagging acceleration of grape sales when arrivals increased rather abruptly. We plan to be better positioned with our partners this year by proactively setting promotional periods that will assist in boosting demand in tandem with increasing supplies.”