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Friday, 08 February 2013 17:32

Largest wine grape crush in California history

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A vineyard in Monterey County south of King City A vineyard in Monterey County south of King City Photo: Randol White

California vineyards produced more grapes for the 2012 crush than during any other time in the state's history.

Figures released today by the USDA's National Agriculture Statistic Service show 4,383,100 tons of grapes were processed last year, a full percentage point higher than the previous record crush set back in 2005.

Red varietals accounted for more than half of last year's production, and were up 19 percent over 2011 totals.  White varietals saw an even larger increase of 21 percent.

In term so single varietals, Chardonnay topped the list at nearly 17 percent of all grapes processed, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon.

Prices statewide also hit a record at $734.35 per ton on average, 24 percent higher than 2011's average value.

Grapes grown in the Napa area saw the highest average price tag, up 5 percent from the previous year. Sonoma and Marin growing regions received the second highest average for their grapes.

Both raisin and table grape varieties saw steep declines in production of 28 and 36 percent respectively. 

The numbers provided today are preliminary. The USDA releases its Final Grape Crush Report on March 8. 

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Last modified on Friday, 08 February 2013 20:28
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