Achieving Excellent Quality for Table Grapes is key to the Eating Experience
Q&A with Divine Flavor International Partner, Santa Elena
Nogales, Arizona- Now that we’re more than a month into 2021, grape lovers can expect seeing Chilean table grapes hitting North American markets with exceptional quality and much better volumes from the year before as there’s an estimated 12.5% increase from last season. For Divine Flavor and table grape specialty partner, Santa Elena, all roads point in the right direction to getting consumers the flavorful table grapes they search for.
For the past several years, Divine Flavor and Santa Elena (along with Peruvian partners, Ecosac and Agricola Don Ricardo) have been engaged in a special project to produce unique varieties for consumers at specific times of the year to compliment a year-round program of exclusive and premium table grapes. These premium varieties include Autumn Crisp®, Sweet Globe®, and Cotton Candy®, as well as other new variety grapes like Sable, high-end Thompsons, and Santa Elena’s very own, Muscat Beauty.
This month, Divine Flavor sits down with Santa Elena (Q&A style) to get a glimpse of their company and their commitment to growing excellent quality, high-end table grapes. Let’s take a look!
1. Why is quality so important to the Santa Elena company? How do you achieve excellent quality with your grape line?
“The philosophy of Santa Elena is focused on producing grapes that customers want to eat. This is all determined by the eating experience which must include great quality, appearance, and flavor.”
“The secret of excellent quality is not magic. It is taking care of every detail during the production process, having experienced personnel who specialize in grape growing. The process starts with the first care of the plant (pruning, hand-twining the branches, etc.) all the way to hand-selecting the finest bunches, and the transportation to the final consumer.”
2. What allows grapes to grow so well in Chile? How has this contributed to Santa Elena & Divine Flavor’s high-flavored varieties and those programs?
“Chile has privileged climates to produce table grapes, with a dry spring and summer. We refer to warm days and cold nights that allow a perfect development of color and flavor in the most diverse varieties, additionally, the people of our fields have worked for more than 30 years in the grape industry, developing techniques and practices to produce those high-flavored varieties it in an excellent way. This contributes to the open relationship between producer and importer that allows through the strengths and knowledge of each other to reach the end customer with the best product.”
3. How are the grapes different from other vineyards in Chile? What varieties are you most proud of and why is this something the customers should be excited about?
“The production of Santa Elena is concentrated in the central zone of Chile which is characterized by a more temperate and drier climate, which allows for better ripening and development of the grape. This allows us to wait until the correct harvest point, without fear of rain”.
“All the varieties, if produced correctly, achieve a good consumer experience, but today, Muscat Beauty, Sable, high-end Thompsons, are the best produced in our production and we are excited about the new projects of Autumn Crisp, Sweet Globe, Krissy, and Cotton Candy”.
4. What is your goal for quality? What type of product do you want to send to the market?
“We want to send the consumer the best eating experience, derived from the most pristine quality, and most delicious flavors”.
“Based on the commitment of achieving the best quality for its consumers, table grape growers, Santa Elena and Divine Flavor know to create the most flavorful table grapes, it starts by paying attention to the fine details during the production process.”
“Santa Elena, as a producer-exporter of table grapes, wants to be recognized worldwide as an innovative, responsible, and passionate company for what it does, producing the best table grapes of the highest quality and safety. All this with a firm purpose- to achieve the trust of the clients through the premium fruits being grown, all of this can be transmitted to the final consumers, making them recognize the best flavor and quality experience in our grapes.”
Isidora Bustamante, Commercial Assistant
Gonzalo Mery, Commercial Manager
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