If you drank a glass of California wine recently there is a very good chance that the grapes for your Cabernet or Chardonnay came from vines produced by Sunridge Nurseries. Located in Bakersfield, California at the southern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Sunridge Nurseries has a distinct advantage for growing the best grape vines in the world. By capitalizing on its phylloxera-free sandy soils, and its long growing season, the nursery is in an ideal location to consistently produce superior grape vines.
With more than 600 acres of certified rootstock, scion wood increase blocks and outdoor nursery blocks, Sunridge produces certified bench grafts and rootings to meet its expanding customer needs. The nursery’s growing, grafting and storage facilities now total more than 300,000 square feet, and Sunridge Nurseries currently features 28 greenhouses provided by Agra Tech, Inc., one of the world’s leading commercial greenhouse manufacturers.
Sunridge Nurseries’ highly successful business model involves the propagation and grafting of grape nursery stock. Subsequently, they have pioneered and developed scientific techniques and cultural practices that have positioned them as leading experts in this field.
Sunridge Nurseries was founded by Glen and Terrie Stoller, a pair of true visionaries who have created the finest grape stock available in the world today. The company was founded by the Stollers in 1977 after years of experience in the grape nursery stock business. It was undoubtedly a match made in wine heaven, because California leads the United States in producing fine varietals and Sunridge Nurseries presently leads the industry in developing new ways to improve the quality of grape nursery stock.
“A vineyard is something that doesn’t go away,” Glen Stoller explained on his company’s website (sunridgenurseries.com). “It’s like a monument. After you plant it, you have to look at it for 20, maybe 30 years or so. A grower may plant just one vineyard in his lifetime and I want to make sure that everything is done right. His success is our success.”
In the 1980s, Sunridge experienced tremendous growth when phylloxera began to invade premier wine grape vineyards in Sonoma and the Napa Valley. Sunridge offered a solution — high quality, phylloxera-resistant rootstocks. In the ensuing years, Sunridge has continued to supply only the highest quality of rootstocks to grape growers, through several expansions and additions to their modern, state-of-the-art facilities, including their use of Agra Tech greenhouses and Energy Curtains.
With Craig Stoller (Terrie’s son) bringing the latest technology to the business, Sunridge Nurseries has grown from a local and regional company to becoming a national and international player in both progress, research and development in the wine grape industry. To this day, Sunridge is still a family-owned and operated corporation with Glen and Craig Stoller running the show with a talented crew and a huge operation.
Abel Martinez is a maintenance supervisor who runs a crew of 5-6 people at Sunridge Nurseries. He has first-hand experience of working day-to-day with Agra Tech, Inc.’s Energy Curtains. “We’ve been using Agra Tech’s Energy Curtains in all of our 28 commercial greenhouses, all of which are also Agra Tech products. They get a lot of use, that’s for sure. In December when our season begins, we need more heat and less light. Then, as we approach the end of our season in May and June, we still need that sun, but we also want the greenhouses to be a little cooler. With Agra Tech’s Energy Curtains, we can dial it in and really manipulate the weather here in Bakersfield.”
Grower Eloy Rodriguez is a highly-acclaimed expert when it comes to grape vine production at Sunridge Nurseries. He values the Agra Tech Energy Curtains for a wide of disparate reasons, all of which contribute to a better product, he said.
“We produce more than 800 varieties of grape vines here, with endless combinations for both wine production as well as table grapes. With our vines, we have to carefully stay on top of everything, because just one small change in the climate can greatly affect our quality. Every morning during our season, we look at the vines and make decisions about light and temperature. In some cases, we may want to slow it down, whole other times, speed it up. They’re easy to operate and they’re well-made, so they will last us more than 12 years, in most cases.”
So, the next time you’re drinking a wonderful California wine, remember–Sunridge Nurseries likely played a major role in bringing it to your table.
#Commercial greenhouse manufacturer
#San Joaquin Valley
#Wine grape vineyards
In order to set themselves up for a bright future, VandenLangenberg and his team worked closely with their Agra Tech’s sales engineer Jim Bergantz. “We started the conversation with Agra Tech back in 2015 and were immediately impressed by Jim Bergantz for his knowledge about the industry. We sat down and put together a plan that had everything we needed. The service that Jim provided was great and he really worked with us to get it done.”
Read interview: CBC's Project Leader Kyle VandenLangenberg
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