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FIVE QUESTIONS/FIVE ANSWERS Q & A WITH GRUPO ALTA FACILITY MANAGERS, DIDIER ZUÑIGA, ARTURO HINOJOS, AND EDUARDO CORVERA
The Sonora grape season is just around the corner for Divine Flavor, and the farms at Grupo ALTA are hard at work preparing for what appears to be a record crop year. Today we speak with a few different Grupo ALTA facility managers to get their take on how things are shaping up grape season.
“The Muscat Beauty was a key part to starting our partnership, but we both knew early on after meeting each other, the potential of Santa Elena together with Divine Flavor would have a tremendous impact on the future of our companies,” said Tocornal.
“From the very first moment meeting Gonzalo, it was very obvious the type of grower he was and what Santa Elena stood for,” said Bon.
“His values, knowledge, and passion of grape growing greatly resembled that of what we do in Grupo Alta and we saw an opportunity to expand our offerings with an expert grower dedicated to flavor and key varieties.”
Q1: How are things looking at the vineyards you manage?
Didier Zúñiga - Facilities Manager of Don Enrique
Eduardo Corvera - Facilities Manager of Don Enrique
Didier Zuñiga: The preparation is going very well. Each variety is taking good structure, having good size and good quantity of bunches.
Eduardo Covera: We are ready and excited. Each season presents its challenges, but it is important to have experience and skills to overcome those challenges and exceed expectations, year after year. Our Guaymas vineyards start first on May 8th. Right after, we have our largest farms, Pozo Manuel and Don Enrique starting May 13th and 18th.
Q2: What are some important factors the team is seeing right now in the days leading up to the season?
Arturo Hinojos: Right now, the most important thing is to give structure to the bunches, especially to the Cotton Candies since it requires a lot of attention to detail. We are working to leave fewer grains so the fruit can grow with the desired quality. Pozo Manuel is our largest farm which host more than 20 commercial varieties so it’s important to understand each grape and how it grows and how to achieve the best results with each of them.
Eduardo Corvera: We are reviewing all the details with the packing teams, preparing each area whether it’s in the fields or the central packing warehouse. We coordinate with all the quality supervisors to make sure they are aware of key details of production and so they can speak with their teams. In the days leading up to season, the details start to unfold and each department needs to be ready.
Arturo Hinojos - Facilities Manager of Pozo Manuel
Q3: How do you think the season will be this year?
Didier Zuñiga: We’re looking at a very promising year with good quantity and quality. I believe it’s going to be a very quick season meaning we’ll start right on time and conclude our last pickings before the weather gets too warm.
Eduardo Corvera: It will be more challenging this year because we will have more fruit. More fruit means we will need to be very careful on selecting the best quality bunches. What sets us apart from the competition is being able to supply the best flavored fruit.
Arturo Hinojos: We all know this season will bring on more volume, and we are expecting very good quality at all the Grupo ALTA farms. We will have a lot of grapes the last week of May and first weeks of June
Q4: What will be the most important component this season?
Arturo Hinojos: The most important areas we need to carefully watch are quality and packing. You have to put a lot of care when you have a lot of production. Focusing on quality and presentation for the customers will be a main point of emphasis.
Didier Zuñiga: The most important thing and what our team is working on is on all of our varieties close with the best quality and the required standards such as brix, size and taste.
Grupo ALTA's Managers
Q5: What excites you most for grape season?
Arturo Hinojos: First of all, I love the start of the season. In the beginning, when the grapes start to come out and we see the good sizes and quality we are working on, that’s my main motivator. We hope this will be a good year and my team at Pozo Manuel is ready.
Didier Zuñiga: I’m always excited about harvests because you receive the fruit for what you worked for five months ago. From pruning and all the phenological stages, working and taking care to reach these dates. And when the harvest starts coming, it is so satisfying to see how your work is reflected in a good harvest. That’s been always enthusiasm me.
Eduardo Corvera: I am always excited about a new season, the challenges that this new season will bring us, knowing how to take on the challenges that come at the moment. Being able to meet the quantity and quality that was projected. This year we feel confident that we can do it better always working as a team to obtain the best results.
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