June 2019

Current Crop News

There is the potential for a very large grape crop this season. There is a good count of large bunches in most varieties. There does not appear to be any shattering. With the cold and wet spring, we anticipate this season we will be 2-3 weeks later than last year depending on the weather this summer. Prices probably will drop dramatically later in the season for some Cabernet Sauvignon in Coastal areas. Locally we are anticipating a slight drop in the price of Cabernet Sauvignon.

Great Merlot

Starting 5 years ago, we purchased and starting shipping Merlot from a ranch on the East Side of Lodi. It was love at first sight. It took quite a while for the grower to convince us to come out and look at the grapes. Upon inspecting the grapes and the vineyard, we instantly decided to buy the grapes. Over the years, they have not disappointed. Last season, the Merlot at this ranch was harvested at an ideal 25 Brix, 3.5 pH. Finally this year we are hearing about the correctness of our decision. Many wineries have complimented us on the quality of these grapes and the wine these grapes have made. One of our home winemakers, Joe DiPonzio Jr., won a Double Gold Medal at the Finger Lakes International Pro competition with his 2017 vintage. I was given a bottle and it was truly one of the best wines I have ever had. 

Last year we found another Merlot vineyard with almost the same quality located close to the original ranch. This second ranch for years was sold to Napa wineries. With our Merlot sales so strong we harvested close to a total of 200 tons of Merlot last year. We highly recommend you add some of these Merlot grapes to your 2019 crush.

Updating our Cold Storage Facility

Over the last couple of years, we have been updating our cold storage facility in Del Rey, CA.  The large facility was built in 1973 and over the years there were several expansions. It was specifically designed for grape storage and it has gained a reputation of being one of the best storage for grapes in the industry. We consider the facility an important factor in the success of our business. We are in the process of reassuring that all Federal, State, County and FSMA food safety rules and regulations are aligned with our Ag Food Safety Program.

Another Daughter Joining the Team

Many of you have become accustomed to communicating with my daughter Ally over the last few years. She has assumed a lot of the responsibilities of running the company. Now, my other daughter, Anna Colavita Solari, will be assuming other responsibilities. Hopefully next year, I will have them attend local winery shows around the country so everyone gets an opportunity to meet them.