nogales, az — Importing table grapes from new growing partners in Peru and Chile, Divine Flavor’s grape season runs “from October to October,” noted Michael DuPuis, quality assurance and public relations coordinator.
When DuPuis met in his Nogales office with The Produce News early in November, the firm was into the northern Peru harvest, with product running from late October until February.
Last season, Divine Flavor ranked in the top ten in volume for U.S. importers of South American grapes. “Our partnerships are growing, and our volumes will increase. We hope to be top five this year,” DuPuis noted.
“We are working with conventional grapes from Peru now,” he said. This involves the Autumn Crisp and Jellyberry varieties. He noted that Autumn Crisp is, with Cotton Candy, becoming the “co-favorite” grape in Divine Flavor’s high-taste grape category. “The Autumn Crisp is one of the best green seedless grapes coming from South America this year. The demand is huge.”
The Jellyberry variety has the Concord grape as a genetic contributor, leading to the popular “grape jelly” taste.
The Chilean grape deal for Divine Flavor will run from December until the first week of May.
Divine Flavor’s grape calendar is also bolstered in 2020 by new, oncoming production from 700 acres of vineyards in Jalisco. Divine Flavor’s Jalisco ranch will ship from early April until early May.
Then Divine Flavor will move to its longstanding grape production in Sonora. Depending on growing conditions, Sonora runs for six or seven weeks from May into July.
To serve customers with summertime grapes, Divine Flavor will now be harvesting grapes on 450 acres of its new vineyard on the Baja peninsula. Cooler weather conditions near that coast put Baja in the market with California production, shipping from July into October.
DuPuis said the new Jalisco and Baja vineyard produce the same specialty grape varieties as are produced in other Divine Flavor Mexico vineyards. In all, the firm produces 32 commercial grape varieties.
“We offer produce with flavor. That is the driver for all our special and unique varieties, which have quality.”
Divine Flavor Viva Organica
Beyond table grapes, specialty varieties for Divine Flavor apply to its Viva Organica vegetable line. Viva Organica is a Divine Flavor concept-come-to-life.
These are farms offering comfortable housing and dining for workers, educational and recreational opportunities for workers, as well as organic, sustainable protected agriculture, producing special vegetable varieties.
DuPuis said the Viva Organica farms, produce the Tribelli mini-sweet peppers and the Magnifico grape tomatoes, both of which have been a huge commercial success.
Viva Organica’s hothouse vegetable volume in Culiacan started in November and farms in Jalisco and Baja are already shipping the grape tomatoes and sweet mini peppers as part of its year-round program.
The firm also ships rainbow Bell peppers, along with three different varieties of cucumbers: Persian, long English, and slicer cukes- both in conventional and organic.