Scattaglia Growers & Shippers LLC in Traver, CA, has a strong fall fruit program consisting not only of grapes and stone fruit, which are the company’s major product categories, but also pomegranates and persimmons.
“Our stone fruit — our peach, nectarine and plum deal — will continue strong well into October as it usually does, complementing our grape program that is just getting into full swing,” said Louis Scattaglia, managing partner of SGS, in an interview with The Produce News Aug. 5.
With the grape season running “a little bit later than usual,” SGS was still “picking Flames in this time period” and expected to finish flames “around the 10th of September,” Mr. Scattaglia said. “Continuing on from there” would be Crimsons, “followed shortly after that by Scarlet Royal, Autumn Royal black, Luisco green seedless, then Autumn King green seedless.” Then SGS will finish the season with its proprietary SGS Red variety “which will take us through the first week of January.”
Autumn King and Luisco are new items for the company this year. “Presently we are heavier to the Autumn King,” Mr. Scattaglia said. But “I think there will be room for both of them long term.”
The same is true of the newer late-season red seedless varieties that now compete with Crimson. “They all have their place,” he said. “Scarlet Royal and a lot of the newer proprietary varieties like the SGS Red are certainly gaining a very strong following because of their genetically superior size compared to the traditional red grapes that are out there, and in some cases because of their great holding capacity to stretch the season into January. So certainly some of these grapes are becoming popular. But in general, there is still room for the Crimson and the Flame. The Flame is still a great grape to start the season off with. The Crimson still has great eating quality” and will continue to have a home. “But no doubt some of the new varieties are gaining ground.”
In all, SGS will be up in volume about 30 percent to 40 percent this year in its domestic grape production, he said.
“Look for our new ‘Sun Disk’ black box,” which will begin shipping by the end of August, he said. “ It is very eye -atching,” but it is also “a huge step up in packaging, not only aesthetically but in strength of packaging to protect what we feel is our superior grape quality. We now feel we have a superior package to go along with it to protect that grape.”
SGS complements its domestic grape program with imported product. “Our primary focus, of course, through the first week of January, is always our domestic grape program, which is increasing in size every year,” Mr. Scattaglia said. But the company will also bring in green seedless grapes from Brazil in late November and December. “That will be new for us this year.”
Then in January, “when we finish our domestic grapes, we will transition into Peru and then finally Chile,” he said.
In the stone fruit category, “peaches and nectarines will continue” into the fall, Mr. Scattaglia said. “The white peaches will fall off about mid-September,” but “there will be a few more white nectarines until almost the first of October.” Yellow peaches and yellow nectarines will “continue all the way through September and into October.”
SGS will start shipping pomegranates around Aug. 25, “continuing on through the season,” he said. The company also ships Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons. The “Pinkham” label “is a very high-quality well-known label of Hachiya persimmons that has a great following, especially on the East Coast.”
Although not a fruit item, another commodity SGS handles in the fall, and one “that you will be seeing more of from SGS,” is Peruvian asparagus. “We are bringing it in now,” Mr. Scattaglia said. The harvest is “ramping up” as the season “transitions into spring in Peru.”
SGS will have “major promotable supplies” of Peruvian asparagus starting around the first of September and continuing through the first of January, he said.