Vineyard & Winery Management

January - February 2012

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Page 87 of 139

Nat DiBuduo Alllied Grape Growers president upbeat about grape market By Ted Rieger, senior feature editor at DiBuduo is presi - dent and CEO of Fres- no-based Allied Grape Growers (AGG), a wine grape marketing associa- tion representing nearly 600 mem- ber growers. AGG members farm 30,000 acres throughout California that produce up to 285,000 tons annually. The association's main function is to provide competitive marketing of its members' grapes and maintain year-round commu- nication with growers and vintners to better understand market con- ditions and opportunities. Allied sells wine and concentrate grapes to more than 100 vintners and pro- cessors in the North Coast, Central Coast, Lodi and San Joaquin Valley regions. When DiBuduo joined AGG in May 2000, about two-thirds of its members' acreage was in the San Joaquin Valley, the rest in the North Coast and Central Coast regions. Since that time, nearly 150,000 acres of less-profitable and under- producing vineyards have been removed from the San Joaquin Val- ley, and member acreage is now split 50/50 between the valley and coastal regions. However, San Joa- quin Valley growers still provide about two-thirds of Allied's total annual sales tonnage. DiBuduo was born and raised in the Fresno area and grew up in the 88 VINEYARD & WINERY MANAGEMENT WWW.VWM-ONLINE.COM

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