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Sundale expects increase of about 10 percent for 2014 grape volume

“We continue to expand,” said Sean Stockton, president of Sundale Sales, the marketing arm of Sundale Vineyards in Tulare, CA. “Our overall increase this year is about 10 percent over last year.”

The company continues “to do extensive replanting and grafting to newer varieties,” seeking always to stay at the vanguard “when it comes to planting new varieties” and strengthening the program for the long term, he said.

To keep pace with its growth in volume, Sundale has added more pre-cooler capacity to its cold storage facility this year. In addition, as reported previously, the company has installed a 1.13 megawatt solar photovoltaic power generating system that will supply power to the company’s cold storage facility.

“We put in the solar field to continue to improve our carbon footprint,” Stockton said. The installation is also expected to generate savings of an estimated $5.7 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

Although Sundale increased its production of Flames and Sugraones for the early season, most of the increases this season are in mid-season and late-season varieties, said Stockton July 14.

In the red seedless category, the company will finish Flames around mid-August, and “our mid-season program will be dominated by Scarlet Royals,” with the company’s proprietary Sundale Red variety following “on a little later timeline,” he said.

In the green seedless category, “we will start packing Princess the third week of July,” continuing through late August and following with Autumn Kings, he said. Autumn King is “one of the anchors to our program.”

In black seedless, “we have summer Royals” and will transition to Autumn Royals for the late season, he said.

“We continue to expand our house pack, and we are taking full advantage of what we are able to do in there,” putting up bicolor and tricolor clamshell packs in two-, three- and four-pound sizes, Stockton said. “Momentum seems to build, and we are shipping more of those than ever.” At the same time, “we are continuing to get more and more efficient in using the facility.”