Planning for future industry trends and consumer trends is no easy task, but it can be especially difficult for growers of permanent crops such as table grapes. Several aspects play a factor in the decision process for what the next operational move needs to be.
“I think with all these new varieties being introduced, we also have to adapt to what the consumer is wanting,” said Assistant Ranch Manager at Anthony Vineyards Domenick Buck. “So, with a permanent crop that makes it a little bit more difficult…you’re ripping out old vines and replacing them with these new varieties. Well that sets you back anywhere from two to three years.”
Buck mentioned that one of the goals at Anthony Vineyards is to keep their buyers supplied with at least one of their green, red, or black varieties from about May up through Thanksgiving. That objective plays a significant role in the decision-making process when considering new varieties, which is a substantial investment of time and money.
“You have to have a good vision, I think you have to be able to adapt and you just have to be flexible. But you also have to have a plan,” Buck noted. “With a permanent crop you’re looking to have this thing in production next 20-25 years. Well, that might not always work out, but I think that’s your goal.”