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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 11th, 2014, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 49 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 49

Preliminary crush report shows a record 2013 grape harvest

By CAMILLIA LANHAM

For the second year in a row, California grape growers crushed previous harvest records, according to the Feb. 10 California Department of Food and Agriculture’s 2013 preliminary grape crush report.

The final report will be published on March 10, but early numbers show 2013’s grape harvest was up 7 percent over 2012, which was also a record year. The total grape crop for 2013 weighs in at 4.68 million tons. Wine grapes make up 4.23 million tons of that harvest, and 588,389 of those tons came from Central Coast vines.

Vineyards in San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties produced enough grapes to make 7.17 million gallons of wine, the report said.

Audra Cooper, Central Coast Wine Broker for Turrentine Brokerage, said the historical crops California had in 2012 and 2013 usually slow down demand and drive down price.

“All we’ve seen is a slight moderation,” Cooper said.

In general, price per ton has decreased by $50 to $150, depending on the grape variety. Some varieties, such as pinot noir, have shown almost no change.

The pinot noir harvest on the Central Coast was 23 percent larger in 2013 than it was in 2012.

“But pretty much, there was no change in the district’s average price per ton,” Cooper said. “It barely, barely decreased … to me, this shows strength in the industry.”

Grapes from the Central Coast can fetch a higher price than varieties grown in other California regions because of the quality of the grape. Cooper said consumer demand for moderately priced wine is growing, partly causing area prices to hold steady.

“Wines that are $10 and above are growing at a strong rate,” Cooper said. “Wineries don’t need to go elsewhere for their growth needs, they can in fact find [the grapes] here on the Central Coast.”









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