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Few Changes in California's Final Crush Report

The priciest wine grape in Napa was Cabernet Franc ... Napa Cabernet Sauvignon averaged $7,449 per ton -- or about 8.8 percent more than in 2016, according to Table 10 in the final report. The average price per ton was reported as $7,421 in the preliminary report
by Kerana Todorov
March 12, 2018

California growers crushed a little more than 4 million tons of wine grapes in 2017- about 0.5 percent more than in 2016, according to the final 2017 California Grape Crush Report released Friday. The figure is similar to the one included in the preliminary crush report published last month.

About 2.25 million tons of red wine grapes were crushed in the state in 2017 – down 1.4 percent from 2016. The white wine grape crush totaled about 1.8, up 0.8 percent from 2016.

Statewide, red variety wine grapes statewide averaged $965 per ton – or up 5.1 percent from 2016; white variety wine grapes cost on average about $588 per ton, down 1.8 percent from 2016.

Napa’s crop was valued at about $740.2 million in 2017, according to data from Table 10 and Table 2 of the final crush report; Sonoma’s crush was worth about $570.3 million. The average price for Napa wine grapes were about 11 percent higher than in 2016. In Sonoma, the average price for wine grapes rose by 7.8 percent from 2016.

Napa Cabernet Sauvignon averaged $7,449 per ton – or about 8.8 percent more than in 2016, according to Table 10 in the final report. The average price per ton was reported as $7,421 in the preliminary report.

The average price per ton for Cabernet Sauvignon in Sonoma County was about $3,020 in 2017 – or about 1.8 percent more than in 2016. Pinot Noir averaged approximately $3,887 a ton in District 3, which includes Sonoma County, and about $2,778 a ton in District 4 or Napa.

Generally speaking, Saintsbury co-founder David Graves said he has no idea how far wine grape prices will continue to rise.

What is his reaction to the high prices for wine grapes? “Grit my teeth and smile,” answered Graves, who produces Pinot Noir wines from fruit sourced from Napa Carneros, western Sonoma and Anderson Valley.

“It’s a seller’s market,” Graves said.

“Pinot Noir growers in western Sonoma are looking at the Cabernet prices of Napa and say ‘we want some of that action,’” Graves also said.

Brian Clements, Turrentine vice president and partner, said Napa prices tend to go up every year. That’s great for the seller, he said Friday. “It’s very challenging for the buyer.”

Chardonnay remained the leading wine grape variety crushed statewide in 2017, accounting for 14.5 percent of the total crop. Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for 14.2 percent of the total crush volume, according to the final report.

In District 8, which includes Paso Robles, Cabernet Sauvignon averaged about $1,661 per ton – or about 10 percent more than in 2016. The average price per ton listed in the preliminary report was $1,660.

The priciest wine grape in Napa was Cabernet Franc. The red variety cost on average $8,000 per ton, according to the final report.

The average price per ton for fruit from Lodi averaged about $627 a ton – or 0.7 percent less than in 2016. Wine grapes from Mendocino on average cost $1677 a ton - or about 9.8 percent more than in 2016.

The California Final Grape Crush Report is available at: https://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/California/Publications/Grape_Crush/

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