Bakersfield, Calif.-based Sunridge Nurseries has a well-known advantage: its isolated ranch in Cuyama Valley. This 1,000-acre site, located an hour southwest of the main office, is isolated from pests and diseases. Sunridge owners Glen and Terrie Stoller bought the Cuyama Valley ranch in 2012, and the high quality of its grapevines have only heightened the couple’s reputation.
“Sunridge Nurseries has been in business for more than 40 years,” says company President Rick Burnes. “One of the reasons we succeed is the connection with our customers. We can relate to the customers because we’re all growers.”
Burnes explains that Sunridge does a great deal to ensure the vines are clean. “We heavily test our fields where we get the vine material every year,” he says. “We run virus tests to make sure they’re not diseased. We do hot water dips and apply fungicides. Also, our facilities are 100 percent screened in to keep pests out.”
California Dept. of Food and Agriculture-certified Sunridge supplied 10 million vines in 2018, mostly to customers in California’s Central Coast, North Coast, and northern interior. The company also has customers in the Pacific Northwest, East Coast, Mexico, Canada, and Peru. “Probably about 60 to 65 percent of our business is for the wine industry. The other 40 percent of vines are for table grapes,” says Burnes.
And though Glen Stoller is easing into retirement, Burnes says, Sunridge Nurseries is still going strong: “We’re planting new increase blocks, investing in new facilities, enhancing our team, and focusing on innovation. We’re making sure the nursery has what it’ll need to get us through the next 20 years.”