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Sunview Marketing International in Delano, CA, exclusive marketing agent for Sunview Vineyards of California, will have volume increases in two proprietary grape varieties this season — one a red seedless called Gem and the other a green seedless called Stella Bella.

Both varieties have been in the development process for some time. Stella Bella debuted commercially last year after being selected out of the company’s in-house breeding program about six years earlier. “We have gone into a major planting program on it the last two years,” said Scott Boyajian, director of sales.

10-CalGrapes-Sunview-StellaStella Bella grapes from Sunview Marketing International. (Photo courtesy of Sunview Marketing International)

According to a company sell sheet, “Stella Bella is a trademarked variety from Sunview Vineyards, a three-generation family farm located in Delano, CA.

This exquisite green seedless grape is prized around the world for its large berry size, crisp texture, elongated shape, superb sweetness and long shelf life.

“The sunshine and excellent growing conditions in California’s San Joaquin Valley define the quality of this exceptional proprietary variety. The grape crop is looking brilliant this year and we are expecting increased supplies to meet our already satisfied customer base.”

 

The variety will be available from about the third week of July into September.

Stella Bella is “a grape that we think is going to replace our front end of our Thompson deal over time,” Boyajian said. “We will always have some Thompsons, but we are scaling the Thompson numbers back.”

The Gem seedless variety starts a bit later than the Stella Bella, he said. “We will start in August” and the harvest will go through September and “a little bit into October. We sell it over a two and a half to three month period.”

Currently, Sunview uses the Gem mostly for export, Boyajian said. He described it as a “very long” elongated red seedless grape that is “very, very big” and has “very, very good flavor.” The company has been evaluating the variety for about five years. “We have been taking a slow look at it. We like what we have seen, so we are expanding it now.”

Sunview also has “a lot of other new varieties we are looking at,” some out of the company’s own breeding program and some from other programs, he said.

The company also has substantial increases this year in the Scarlet Royal and Autumn King varieties for the late season, Boyajian said.