Good weather and more acreage helped Californias 2013 grape crush hit a record high of 4.68 million tons, up nearly 7 percent from the previous record a year ago, according to statistics released Monday by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of last years grape crush, slightly more than 2.4 million tons, up 5 percent from 2012, according to the preliminary report.
The white wine crush totaled 1.82 million tons, up 6 percent from 2012. Raisin-type grape varieties totaled 327,790 tons, up 21 percent from 2012; table-type varieties totaled 126,718 tons, up 28 percent.
Greg Livengood, president and a partner with San Rafael-based Ciatti Co., a major bulk wine and grape brokerage, said the record crop was in line with what we were expecting and what the industry was expecting.
At the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium last month in Sacramento, industry officials predicted a record crop for 2013, citing more acreage producing high-quality grapes and a favorable weather year. On Monday, Ciatti also pointed to excellent harvest conditions, with little or no bad-weather disruptions.
John White, another Ciatti partner, noted that sometimes you see concerns with quality implications with a large wine grape crop, but thats not the case this time. Everybody is raving about the high quality, from flavor to colors to acids and sugars, he said.
Chardonnay continued to account for the largest percentage of the total crush volume in 2013, with 16.1 percent. Cabernet Sauvignon ranked second at 11.1 percent.
The average Chardonnay price was $863 a ton, up 2 percent from 2012. Cabernet Sauvignons average was $1,335 a ton, down 4 percent.
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