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Sunview grows all major grape varieties and some new proprietary varieties

Sunview Marketing International in McFarland, CA, is the exclusive marketing agent for Sunview Vineyards of California Inc. “Over sixty years ago, Marko Zaninovich established Sunview’s roots,” stated the company’s web site. “Today Sunview is one of California’s largest family-owned and operated table grape vineyards.”

“We farm table grapes” in the San Joaquin Valley from the southern end of the valley up through Bakersfield and Delano to the Ducor area, Scott Boyajian, director of sales, said.

Three generations participate in the family business, which is also involved in other ventures. “We are also in the wine business … and we are also in the raisin business,” Mr. Boyajian said. “But I only deal with the fresh grape side.”

The company grows “all the major varieties” of fresh grapes, he said. In addition, “we have our own breeding program, like so many other people, and we have our own varieties that we are looking at.” The company is also “looking at [new] public varieties that are available to plant.” In all, “we have quite an array of varieties — red, green and black” in the seedless category and seeded varieties as well.

The company packs its grapes primarily in the “Sunview” label and ships them throughout the United States and “to almost every country around the world,” he said. “Our shipping period is roughly the end of June through the first half of January.”

In its green seedless grape varieties, Sunview will be “very heavy in Thompson production” going into September, Mr. Boyajian said. Also, “we will still have a few Princess around in September. Then we start on our Luiscos and then go into Autumn Kings.”

The company also will have some proprietary green seedless varieties from its own breeding program that “we will be shipping this year.” They do not have names yet. They are numbered varieties not yet in full commercial production. But Sunview will be “sending samples out” and “evaluating them this year,” he said.

“On the red seedless side, in August we will be finishing up our Flames.” From Flames, “the industry typically goes to Scarlet Royals and then Crimsons,” he said, but Sunview has “three varieties that are in between Flames and Scarlet Royals. One of them is Rosa. One of them is Sunset, which has been around for about 18 years. And one is Gem, which has been around for probably close to eight or nine years. They are all proprietary. Rosa is our newest one, and it comes right on the heels of Flames. It’s got a slight Muscat flavor and very large round berries. Sunset is more of an elongated grape. Gem is a very elongated grape, very good eating.”

Following those varieties, he said, “we move into Scarlet Royals. There has been a lot of those planted. Then we finish up with Crimsons.”

Additionally, Sunview has “several proprietary red varieties that we are looking at [which] fall all along that time frame,” he said.

In the black seedless category, “we start with Summer Royals and from there we move into the variety from South America” that is referred to as Unknown or Chilean black seedless. “I think it originated in Argentina,” he said. “And then we follow up with Autumn Royals.

The company will have volume increases this year in Autumn King, Scarlet Royal and “all of our proprietary varieties,” he said. “Our volume is going to climb quite a bit over the next two years. We planted a significant amount” each of the last two years and will “again next year.”

Sunview continues also to do “quite a few Red Globes,” but the timing of the demand for that variety “has changed significantly,” Mr. Boyajian said. “There really isn’t much of a demand in the Asian countries until a bit later.”

Sunview is “a very large operation” in terms of production, “so we are able to meet the needs of small [customers] as well as large customers pretty easily,” he said. People who “deal with us day-in and day-out usually get competitive pricing, and they get consistent quality from us day after day.”