March 2014 Issue of Wines & Vines
 
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Record California Wine Grape Harvest

 
by Andrew Adams
 
 
Grape Prices Paid 2013
 
The Grape Crush Report cites District 3 as Sonoma and Marin counties, District 4 as Napa, District 8 as San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties and District 11 as San Joaquin County north of State Highway 4 and Sacramento County south of U.S. 50 and east of Interstate 5.

SAN RAFAEL, CALIF.—California followed up the bumper harvest of 2012 with an even larger one in 2013. At 4.23 million tons, the state’s total yield was higher than analysts expected.

According to the preliminary grape crush report released Feb. 10 by the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, California growers produced 2.41 million tons of red wine grapes and 1.83 million tons of white wine grapes.

Red wine grape production was up 5%, and the white wine grape harvest came in 6% higher than in 2012. The state’s entire grape harvest, which includes table and raisin grapes, was expected to total 4.69 million tons—7% more than in 2012.

Chardonnay continued to account for the largest share of the state’s harvest at 16%, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon at 11%. Total Pinot Noir production grew by 3% to 256,974 tons, and the variety now accounts for 6% of the state’s total production.

The average price of all wine grapes was $745 per ton, with the average for red wine grapes up 4% to $842 and the average for white wine grapes down less than 1% to $620 per ton.

Napa County, or grape District 4, earned the highest average price for all grapes at $3,691 per ton, followed by Sonoma County in District 3, which had an average of $2,249.

The average price for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in District 4 was $5,499 per ton, which was an 8.7% increase over the 2012 average price of $5,060. The average price for Cabernet in District 3 was $2,501 per ton in 2013 and $2,314 in 2012, an increase of 9.3%. Pinot Noir fetched an average of $3,118 per ton in District 3, an increase of 9.7% over the 2012 average of $3,015 per ton.

Wineries crushed 65,757 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from District 4, while District 3 wineries crushed 54,141 tons of Pinot Noir.

 
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