Rose Petals at Galante Vineyard

I recently made a trip to Galante Vineyard in California. It's a relatively young vineyard, but it's well known for its premium wine. I visited with the owner about another product they sell - rose petals.

Owner Jack Galante tells us more.

Allen: Jack, how does a guy who has such a passion for growing wine get into the rose business?

Jack Galante, Galante Vineyard, Carmel Valley, California: About 1985, my dad started planting roses just around the vineyards to add a little beauty. He grew up in the old country and he saw these roses at the end of all the grapes because, roses used to be used as monitors for pests and mildew for the vineyards.

So we started planting roses and putting a great deal of labor into them. We had so many blooms that we couldn't give them away fast enough, so we decided to sell them.

Allen: Jack what class of rose do you grow here at Galante?

Jack: We grow all hybrid tea.

Allen: You get a larger petal with the hybrid tea.

Jack: You do, and of course the fragrance is there. They tend to have a longer vase life as well. The stems are very hardy, very thick. Even as they age they age with beauty and grace and so they look wonderful as older roses in the vase as well.

There are a lot of petals per rose and they are easier to ship.

Allen: Tell me a little about how you harvest petals and how you ship something that seems to be so fragile.

Jack: What we do is we come out and we find the roses that are already quite a bit opened, the rose itself you can't ship. We take these buckets of rose petals and we bring them in to our cold room and we chill them way down. Then we package them in about 30 pound boxes with some gel ice and overnight ship them to their destination. And then the people who get them are instructed to just spread them out right before they are going to be used, depending if they are going to be used inside or out. And enjoy it.

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