Record grape crop – USDA releases preliminary crush report

GrapesCalifornia’s 2013 crush totaled a record high 4,685,075 tons, up 7 percent from the previous record high 2012 crush of 4,387,434 tons.  Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 2,405,942 tons, up 5 percent from 2012.  The 2013 white wine variety crush totaled 1,824,625 tons, up 6 percent from 2012.  Tons crushed of raisin type varieties totaled 327,790, up 21 percent from 2012, and tons crushed of table type varieties totaled 126,718, up 28 percent from 2012.

The 2013 average price of all varieties was $706.29, down 4 percent from 2012.  Average prices for the 2013 crop by type were as follows: red wine grapes, $842.09, down 5 percent from 2012; white wine grapes, $620.01, down less than 1 percent from 2012; raisin grapes, $254.80, down 20 percent; and table grapes, $221.21, down 19 percent.

In 2013, Chardonnay continued to account for the largest percentage of the total crush volume with 16.1 percent.  Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for the second leading percentage of crush with 11.1 percent.  The next eight highest percentages of grapes crushed included wine and raisin grape varieties.  Thompson Seedless, the leading raisin grape variety crushed for 2013, held 6.2 percent of the total crush.

Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $3,691.07 per ton, up 4 percent from 2012.  District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second highest return of $2,248.89, up 3 percent from 2012.  The 2013 Chardonnay price of $863.41 was up 2 percent from 2012, but the Cabernet Sauvignon price of $1,334.96 was down 4 percent from 2012.  The 2013 average price for Zinfandel was $648.94, down 9 percent from 2012, while the Merlot average price was down 6 percent from 2012 at $750.88 per ton.

The Preliminary Grape Crush Report includes all grape tonnage crushed during the 2013 season.  It also includes purchased tonnage and pricing information for grapes with final prices prior to January 10, 2014.  The March 10, 2014 Final Grape Crush Report will contain any late reports or corrections to the preliminary report.

The entire Grape Crush Report is available online at www.nass.usda.gov/ca.

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