Records set for California grape harvest
March 8, 2013
• Final numbers show record amounts, record prices
• Chardonnay accounted for the largest percentage of the total crush
It was great to be a grape grower in California this past year. According to final numbers released Friday by the National Agricultural Statistics Service, the state’s 2012 grape crush totaled a record high 4,387,086 tons, up 13 percent from the 2011 crush of 3,874,158 tons, and 1 percent larger than the previous record high 2005 crush.
Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 2,292,201 tons, up 19 percent from 2011.
The 2012 white wine variety crush totaled 1,725,689 tons, up 21 percent from 2011.
Tons crushed of raisin type varieties totaled 270,085, down 28 percent from 2011, and tons crushed of table type varieties totaled 99,111, down 36 percent from 2011.
The 2012 average price of all varieties reached a record high of $737.61, up 25 percent from 2011.
Average prices for the 2012 crop by type were as follows: red wine grapes, $883.62, up 25 percent from 2011; white wine grapes, $625.30, up 15 percent from 2011; raisin grapes, $318.62, up 20 percent; and table grapes, $272.21, up 24 percent.
In 2012, Chardonnay accounted for the largest percentage of the total crush volume with 16.8 percent. Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for the second leading percentage of crush with 11.3 percent of the total crush. The next eight highest percentages of grapes crushed included wine and raisin grape varieties. Thompson Seedless, the leading raisin grape variety crushed for 2012, held 5.3 percent of the total.
District 13, (Madera, Fresno, Alpine, Mono, Inyo counties; plus Kings and Tulare Counties north of Nevada Avenue, had the largest share of the state’s crush, at 1,462,119 tons. The average price per ton in District 13 was $369.40.
Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $3,564.54 per ton, up 5 percent from 2011. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second highest return of $2,182.57, up 5 percent from 2011.
The 2012 Chardonnay price of $848.90 was up 13 percent from 2011, and the Cabernet Sauvignon price of $1,385.36 was up 20 percent from 2011. The 2012 average price for Zinfandel was $715.29, up 28 percent from 2011, while the Merlot average price was up 16 percent from 2011 at $802.31 per ton.