I propose to evaluate the commercial potential of Verjuice in the Hudson Valley. I already have established markets for table grapes and may be able to use these markets for the sale of Verjuice. I also have contacts with wineries that have an established customer base. This may be another outlet for the sale of Verjuice. In addition, various ethnic groups in my area are already familiar with Verjuice. These groups may prefer to buy product grown in their local community, instead of products imported from other areas both inside and outside of the country. I plan to manage a portion of my existing vineyard specifically for the production of Verjuice. This will require a change in management styles in regards to pesticide applications, so that all applications made are within the appropriate days to harvest. Jim O’Connell, as part of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) has previously provided management recommendations for my vineyard. Jim has agreed to serve as a technical advisor on this project. Additionally, Jim has recommended that Christian Malsatzki, CCEUC Team Leader also work with us on this project. Christian has past experience in evaluating new markets; he will provide that service for this project.
Project objectives from proposal:
I plan to use 1/8 acre of my existing vineyard for this project. Grape vines will be pruned, fertilized, and shoots thinned the same for the whole vineyard. these practices are standard production practices for all grapes. Standard IPM practices will be used to manage pests. However, materials used and timing of applications will be made such that they fall within the appropriate days to harvest for the crop. Since this is not an experiment with varying treatments, there will not be a control.
The objectives are to
- Compare production costs of verjuice with table grapes. In general, grape production costs are well documented. Furthermore, as a grower, I know my cost of production and return on investment for table grapes. However, production costs for Verjuice grapes may vary since they are harvested earlier. Therefore, it will be important to compare costs and revenues for the two systems to each other. So the comparison is accurate, the same cultivars selected for Verjuice, will be compared to the same cultivars designated for table grape sales.
- Compare the yield from each system. Yield helps provide a measure of cost to produce a particular product. For table grapes the overall yield results in price per pound revenue. For Verjuice, yield is more price of pound of grapes per bottle (similar to wine grapes).
- Total sales will be another measurement of this project. Sales will help gauge the profitability of this product. After making and selling the Verjuice, the total sales will be compared to the total costs to evaluate revenue earned.