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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on February 14th, 2018, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 18, Issue 50 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 18, Issue 50

Wine grape production on Central Coast increases

By KASEY BUBNASH

The Central Coast saw a 6 percent increase in winegrape production from 2016 to 2017, according to the 2017 Preliminary Grape Crush Report, which was released by the California Department of Food and Agriculture on Feb. 9.

About 540,727 tons of grapes from the Central Coast were crushed in 2017, nearly 40,000 tons more than in 2016.


THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE
The Central Coast saw a 6 percent increase in wine grape production in 2017, according to the 2017 Preliminary Grape Crush Report released by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
FILE PHOTO BY JAYSON MELLOM

“The increase is a little surprising, considering the heat spikes this year,” Audra Cooper, a grape broker for San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties, told the Sun. “It was a pleasant surprise.”

The planting of fresh crops in the area for the past several years made for healthier plant material. That and heavy rains earlier in the season, Cooper said, contributed to the unexpected production increase.

Much of the Central Coast’s production spike came from the areas in and around Paso Robles, Cooper said, where the total crop of cabernet sauvignon saw a 15 percent increase in production from 2016, and a 51 percent increase over the five year average. Additional crop production also came out of Monterey County.

While Santa Barbara County’s grape market is extremely stable, Cooper said the county’s most important grapes, pinot noir and chardonnay produced a slightly lighter crop in 2017 than the year before. Both grapes experienced strong demand, she said, and decreased in production by about 3 percent, probably due to the area’s unusual summer heat waves.

The small decrease doesn’t mean much for Santa Barbara County, Cooper said, however there is an increasing need for pinot noir wines in the $20 to $30 per bottle range.




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