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California Grape Crush Sets New Record

February 11, 2014

California posted another record winegrape crush in 2013, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service preliminary harvest report. The Golden State crushed 4.23 million tons of winegrapes from the 2013 vintage, up roughly 6% from 2012, which was also a record. Red wine grapes rose 5% to 2.4 million tons, while white wine grapes were up 6% to 1.8 million tons. The average price for red varieties dropped 4% to $842 a ton, while white wine grape prices were down less than 1% to $620 a ton.

Among specific grape varietals, Chardonnay continued to lead the way with a 16% share of the total crush for 2013, with Cabernet Sauvignon second at 11%. Meanwhile, Zinfandel accounted for 10% of the total crush, with Merlot at 7.4%, Pinot Noir at 5.5% and Pinot Gris at 3.8%. The average price of Chardonnay per ton increased by 2%, while Cabernet Sauvignon fell 4%. Prices on Zinfandel (-9%) and Merlot (-6%) also declined.

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