HERMOSILLO, SONORA, MEXICO — Hundreds of upbeat Mexican grape industry members — and their industry affiliates — gathered in this Sonora city April 19-20 to discuss the coming table grape crop, other related issues and enjoy a reunion with old friends.
Marco Camou Sr. of Carmel Vineyard, Gilberto Salazar of Videxport and Marcos Molina Sr. of Grupo Molina.
Juan Laborin of AALPUM, with Arial Platt of La Florida Vineyard, Elia Tello, U.S. Consul General for Hermosillo, Hector Platt of La Florida, Marcos Molina, president of AALPUM, and Ivan Platt of La Florida.
Benjamin Grayeb of Protección Agropecuaria Compañia de Seguros, S.A. with Juan Laborin of AALPUM.
Brian LaForest of Molly’s Sun Select.
Hector Platt, a partner in the La Florida vineyard in Pesqueria, Sonora, with Juan Laborin, director general of AALPUM. AALPUM organized a grape industry tour on April 19 to La Florida and hosted the preseason Mexican grape meeting April 20 in Hermosillo, Sonora.
Juan Laborin of AALPUM with Georgina Felix and Marlene Lopez of Fresh Produce Association of the Americas.
Juan Laborin and Brenda Castro of AALPUM, Javier Molina Jr. of Grupo Molina, Elia Tello, U.S. Consul General for Hermosillo, Marcos Molina Sr. and Marcos Molina Jr. of Grupo Molina, and Jeffrey Pilgreen of the U.S. Consulate in Hermosillo.
Marco Camou Jr. of Carmel Vineyards and John Pandol of Pandol Bros.
Marcos Molina Sr. and Charlie Molina of Grupo Molina.
Omar Cabrera and Jorge Ruiz of Agri-Packing.
John Pandol of Pandol Bros. and Shau Booker of the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
Alan Camou of Carmel Vineyards.
Uldarico Durazo of Sun World.
These Perlette grapes, produced at the Platt family’s La Florida vineyard in Pesqueria, Sonora, will be harvested about May 5. La Florida hosted a tour on April 19 by the Mexican grape industry, on the day prior to the annual preseason grape meeting.
This fourth-annual grape symposium’s climactic moment was the announcement of the 2018 Mexican grape crop export volume estimate — 15.8 million cases. This is an average-sized crop but well below last year’s record 21 million exported boxes. Industry leaders Marcos Molina, president of AALPUM, and Juan Laborin, director general of the association, both directed a strong message to North American produce buyers that there will be plenty of fruit available for spring promotions.
AALPUM, has recommended promotions for various varieties, running from May 11 until July 2. The earliest grapes from Sonora are to be picked in the first days of May.
Key shipping areas in Sonora are Guaymas, which is warmer and, generally speaking, has the earliest grapes; Hermosillo, which has large vineyard to the north and west of town, is the center of the deal; and Caborca, not far south of the Arizona border, which brings on a large volume of table grapes late in the Mexican grape deal, ending in the early days of July.
New plantings in Jalisco, far to the south, are gaining maturity, with volumes becoming statistically significant in a year or two. Mexican growers are also beginning to plant grapes in northern Baja. That production is a couple of years out.
The meeting commenced on April 19 with a tour of the La Florida vineyard, operated by the Platt family in the growing district Pesqueria, which is about 25 miles north of Hermosillo.
A long entourage then drove to nearby La Mercedes, a large vineyard owned by Grupo Molina. Suarez Brokerage, based in Nogales, sponsored a steak dinner that was presented under green-lit palm trees and a clear black sky. Music from The Beatles provided upbeat background music on a perfect, warm evening.
Beyond the grape estimate, the April 20 Symposium, held at Hermosillo’s Los Lagos golf club, included an analysis of Sonora weather patterns, which are expected to continue an ongoing trend of warmer, drier growing seasons.
Benjamin Grayeb of Protección Agropecuaria Compañia de Seguros S.A., a key leader in Mexico’s avocado trade, reviewed the remarkable growth and promotion of his industry. He encouraged Mexico’s grape growers to increase their contributions for a generic promotion of their fruit.