“This will be our first year with Autumn Kings,” said Justin Bedwell, a partner in Bari Produce LLC in Madera, CA, which was formed in 2009 as a marketing arm for Logoluso Farms, also in Madera. Logoluso Farms is a grower of stone fruit and grapes packed mainly in the “Logoluso” and “Bari” labels.
The company will have a good volume of the Autumn Kings this year, and “each year we should have more and more production” as new vineyards come into bearing, Mr. Bedwell said.
Bari starts its season with Thompsons, and Mr. Bedwell expected those to be ready for harvest about the end of July this year. That is “a little bit later than last year,” and “last year was late,” he said.
Red Globes will follow about five days after the start of the Thompsons, or right around the first of August, he said. “Then we have a few Autumn Royal black seedless.”
Bari’s later season grapes will consist of Crimson seedless and the new Autumn King green seedless variety. The company expects significant production in both of those varieties, “and they will carry us through Thanksgiving for sure,” Mr. Bedwell said. “We don’t usually go too much after Thanksgiving. Some other Madera [grape growers] stay a little longer, but we are usually out by Turkey Day.”
The company expects to be handling “a fair amount of pomegranates this year” in the period following Thanksgiving, “so that will consume us once the fall grapes are done,” he said.
“We have some Scarlet Royals in the ground as well, but I don’t believe they will be producing this year,” he said. How extensively the company would be planting Scarlet Royal, a newer red seedless variety that has been quite widely planted in the last year or two throughout the industry, remained to be seen. “If they can produce good size and more boxes per acre” than Crimson, currently the leading red variety for the latter part of the season, “then we’ll all be handling them,” he said.
It is a given that the newly introduced varieties can provide consumer satisfaction with regard to eating quality, Mr. Bedwell observed. New varieties being developed today “have to get to that stage of the game to even be commercialized.”
Still, he agreed that some varieties eat better than others. But how well they eat is also influenced by how they are grown and harvested, he noted.
“That is one of the reasons we really look at the production side of it. Growers do different things to the crop” and get different results. “We put money into the grapes to get the right product,” he said.