Preliminary results from the California Grape Crush Report, released by the California Agricultural Statistics service show another year of record winegrape harvests, indicating 4.23 million tons of winegrapes were crushed, up 5 percent from 2012’s 4.01 million tons. Total grapes harvested (including table and raisin varieties) also reached record highs, at 4.685 million tons harvested.
Chardonnay was the most harvested grape, making up 16.1 percent of all grapes. Cabernet Sauvignon followed, at 11.1 percent, and Zinfandel at an even 10 percent. District 13, (Madera, Fresno, Alpine, Mono, Inyo Counties; and Kings and Tulare Counties north of Nevada Avenue (Avenue 192)), was responsible for the most tonnage, at 1,588,985 tons.
Price Per Ton Takes a Small Dive
The statewide average price per ton decreased from 2012—Across all varieties, the price dropped about 3.4 percent from $772.56 per ton to $746.49 per ton in 2013. The average price for red wine grapes was $842.09, down 5 percent from 2012. Cabernet Sauvignon saw a modest decrease in average price for the 552,010 tons crushed last year, down just 3.67 percent to $1,334.96 per ton. Zinfandel, the next most harvested grape at 467,337 tons in 2013, saw a 9 percent decline in price and rests at $648.94 per ton. Merlot saw an average price per ton of $750.88 for the 345,202 tons harvested, down 6.4 percent.
For white wine grapes, statewide average price per ton was $620.01, down less than 1 percent from 2012. The state’s most widely planted variety, Chardonnay (755,494 tons) actually saw in increase in price, from $848.88 in 2012 to $863.41 in 2013, up 1.7 percent. Prices for French Colombard dropped 7.7 percent to an average $304.96 for the 319,816 tons harvested. An 8.3 percent increase brought the average price of 178,732 tons of Pinot Gris up to $588.09.
Harvest By District
New plantings in the largest district, District 13, accounted for 373,592 more tons than in 2012, an 8 percent increase.
Lake County saw the highest percentage increase in harvested tons—up 24.1 percent to 43,209 total winegrape tons. Most districts saw positive growth as well; District 6 (Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties) saw a 19.5 percent increase in tons at 36,842, District 8 (San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties) harvested 10.5 percent more winegrapes in 2013 (241,405), and District 1 (Mendocino County) brought in 77,708 tons, up 9.3 percent from the previous year.
Only four districts saw a decline in winegrape tonnage. District 15 (Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties) saw a 45 percent drop in tons, from 969 to 527; District 16 (Orange, Riverside, San Diego and Imperial counties) tonnage fell 9.4 percent to 4,487; District 10 (Nevada, Placer, El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras, Tuolomne and Mariposa counties) produced 3 percent fewer tons (22,603) in 2013 and District 16 (parts of Yolo County) saw 3.3 percent less tons than in 2012.