A new table grape variety that is being offered this year for the first time by Jasmine Vineyards in Delano, CA, is Sweet Celebration. It is a red seedless variety with large berry size, great color and excellent eating quality, according to Brian Crettol, a salesman for the company.
“This is going to be our first year’s production in Sweet Celebration,” Mr. Crettol said Aug. 7. “It is starting to color. The sizing looks great. Bunch formation is good. There is a good crop hanging out there, so we are pretty excited about it.”
He expectsthe harvest to start late August or early September.
This year, the company expects to have between 80,000 and 100,000 boxes of the variety. “Over the next few years, there is going to be increased production in Sweet Celebration,” he said.
Additionally, Jasmine will have increased production in the Scarlet Royal red seedless and Autumn King green seedless varieties this year, he said.
Looking forward to the fall season, “we are going to have all of the usual [varieties] that we typically do,” with Sweet Celebration now added to the mix, Mr. Crettol said.
“We started Scarlet Royal this week. We are currently packing those.” The company was currently packing Princess green seedless grapes as well.
Also available was Sweet Sunshine, a proprietary green seedless variety with “extra large berries” and great eating quality, he said.
Sweet Sunshine and Sweet Celebration are both proprietary varieties are from International Fruit Genetics in Bakersfield, CA, of which Jasmine is a licensee.
“We will have Thompsons” beginning the week of Aug. 13 and will probably start Vintage Red the same week, he said.
September will bring, for Jasmine, the start of the Red Globe harvest as well as Autumn Royal, Autumn King, the new Sweet Celebration, and the rest of the company’s later-season varieties.
“For us, Autumn King is more of a late September, early October grape,” he said. “It is a later grape for us” than it is for some other growers.
Typically, Jasmine will harvest and pack into November, “and we’ll ship all the way to January,” he said. “Our whole operation is pretty heavily weighted towards the late-season varieties.”
The timing on all varieties is “definitely earlier than last year” but “about on target,” he said. “This is a normal year for us” with regard to harvest times and also with regard to volumes.
To protect the late grapes from the adverse effects of early rains, “everything is going to be covered” with plastic, Mr. Crettol said.