California's grape harvest last year was the biggest ever, according to statistics released Friday.
The 2012 grape "crush," as it's called, came to nearly 4.4 million tons, the California Department of Food and Agriculture said. That was up 13 percent from the year before, and 1 percent higher than the previous record in 2005.
Despite the avalanche of product, prices rose smartly.
Red wine grapes jumped 24 percent, to $879 a ton. White wine grapes rose 15 percent to $623 a ton. Both prices were the highest in at least 25 years.
Brokers and analysts said the pricing shows that demand continues to rise for California wines, which consume the vast majority of all the grapes grown.
"Growing consumer demand is expected to easily absorb the increase (in supply), especially after a light harvest in 2011," said Steve Fredricks, president of Novato's Turrentine Brokerage, in a prepared statement.
He said California winemakers have been importing bulk product in recent years to make up for weak harvests, but that is "likely to drop significantly."
© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.
Read more articles by Dale Kasler
What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com
Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)
Here are some rules of the road:
Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "Report Abuse" link to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.
Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.
Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.
Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand.
Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.
Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.
Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.
Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.
Don't flag other users' comments just because you don't agree with their point of view. Please only flag comments that violate these guidelines.
You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "Report Abuse" link to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at email@example.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.
If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them.