Mike and Joe are back from California...
All the grapes look very good this year. Most red and white varieties have good color and sugar. Since the grapes have matured earlier this year due to California’s hot summer most of the grapes will be picked and packed over the next three weeks. The crop yields are a little lighter this year and availability is tightened by recent large winery purchases; some wineries buying up whole fields to fill their tanks. Labor cost in California has also increased, so grape prices will be higher by $2-$6 on almost all varieties. Freight costs are down a little, but not enough to cover the increase on the grapes. However, juice prices are about the same as we have contracted prices through this year.
The grapes we have selected on out trip are excellent and won’t disappoint. We look forward to this year’s season and will do whatever we can to help you make great wine. Stop by to taste the rare wine grape we carry, Black Muscot. We’ve carried a small amount in the past, but this year we have secured more to keep up with demand. Also, don’t forget to come to our new wine making showroom in Plainville right next to our tomato warehouse. Come in the rear entrance for grapes and juice and the front for all wine making equipment and supplies.
Here's what Joe had to say...
The major focus on this year’s trip to California was labor issues. Many of the wine grape harvesters are dealing with labor shortages and increased labor wages. The increase in minimum wage and lack of workers has resulted in an increased price in wine grapes. It is becoming more difficult for many of the wine grape growers to keep up with increased costs. We have already seen many acres of wine grapes uprooted and taken out in order to make room for other more profitable crops or even for commercial or residential development.
As far as the quality of the grapes, it looks like we may have one of the best years upon us this season.
The weather conditions in the past few weeks have been ideal. The cool mornings along with warm days allows the grape to mature and acquire the necessary sugar to yield a nice glass of wine.
As always, we have selected some outstanding grapes this year and we recommend to place your