Grapery: This California Farmer Creates Candy-Like Fruit

Grapery’s Flavored Grapes


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stablished in 1996, Grapery is not your ordinary vineyard. A three and a half hour drive from Orange County, founders Jack Pandol and Jim Beagle harvest and grow the grapes in Kern and Tulare counties. If you’ve tried any of the flavored grapes, you know the sweet, mouthwatering taste. After one bite, you and your friends will be snacking on the grapes until the bag is empty! In addition to the well-known Cotton Candy grapes, other flavors include Moon Drops, Flavor Pops, Gum Drops and Tear Drops.

Consumers are surprised when learning the flavorful grapes are not genetically modified and have no additives or infusions. A promise from Grapery is to breed grapes naturally over time and use innovative farming techniques that translate into sweet, fruity flavors. Most grocery stores and markets in other states don’t carry or sell Grapery grapes. California is the only state that Grapery grows and harvests their bites of heaven! To locate a store nearest you selling Grapery grapes, use the Store Locator tool in the top right corner of this link.

Continue reading to hear insight from co-founder, Jim Beagle, as he talks about the unique flavors and how the idea of making flavored grapes started.


Q&A With Co-Founder Jim Beagle



Q: How did Grapery get its name?

Jim Beagle: Our founder, Jack Pandol, invented the name.  We wanted something that sounded fun and friendly and enjoyable.

Q: How did you come up with the idea of flavored grapes? 

JB: We know of many wonderful natural flavors in wild grape species, and commercially produced grapes don’t have those flavors.  So we decided to try cross-breeding to get those flavors into commercially productive grapes.

Q: Where did you learn to hybrid two flavors to make a sweetness like Cotton Candy?                                                                      

JB: Luck! We knew we were breeding some exciting and unique new flavors, but for one to turn out just like Cotton Candy was just luck.

Q: How many years did it take to perfect the recipe?

JB: It typically takes 10-15 years to create a new grape variety, and then many more years of perfecting how to handle the variations to make it more consistent.  We’re about 15 years into Cotton Candy and it’s getting MUCH better every year!                    

Q: How many acres of grapes do you have growing in California?         

JB: Not enough. People love Cotton Candy grapes and we can’t plant it fast enough to meet demand!

Q: Are there plans for expansion or will these grapes only grow in California?                                                                                    

JB: The variety is licensed in other grape producing regions of the world, so hopefully in the future people will be able to enjoy the grapes at other times of the year and not only during the California season.

Q: What’s the best selling grape? 

JB: “Moon Drops! You’ll see those late August through November!”

Q: Which grapes are your personal favorite?                                    

JB: Our Flavor Promise grapes! Also late August thru November.

Q: Which tactic works best when plant breeding: practice or passion?         

JB: We are passionate about growing the best tasting grapes in the world.  And consumers share that passion with us when they taste our grapes. That passion keeps us motivated to constantly look for ways to do better at pleasing consumers with the most flavorful grapes in the world!


 

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