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Personal experience: pros,cons of custom crushing

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Commanding a higher price

Growers may turn to custom crushing at a time when they can’t find a home – or a reasonable price – for their grapes. They hope to command a higher price later. It doesn’t always turn out that way.

Schafer, a grower and vintner with San Joaquin Wine Co., talked of the cost of processing the grapes that must be penciled into the picture. Bitter talked of deals gone bad on occasion.

As a child growing up in the Valley, Schafer heard horror stories about “bad years and long markets” and growers unable to find a home for their grapes or being unsatisfied for the offering price for their grapes.

“So they went out and custom crushed and I don’t ever recall one of them turning out the right way,” he said.

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