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2016 Grape Crush UP 8.5% Over 2015. Overall Price Below 2012– Below Average or Normal? Depends on who’s counting.

The 2016 wine grape crush totaled a hair over 4 million tons, up 8.5 percent from the 2015 crush of 3,71 tons according to the  2016 Preliminary Grape Crush Report.

 

Total 2016 tonnage was about equal to the 2012 crush and lower than 2013. Average price per ton in 2016 was higher than 2015 but not substantially different from that as paid 2012-2014..

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SOURCE: Preliminary Grape Crush Report, 2016 Crop, February 10, 2017

 

According to the report:

 

“Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 2,255,300 tons, up 10.5 percent from 2015. The 2016 white wine variety crush totaled 1,745,490 tons, up 4.9 percent from 2015. Tons crushed of raisin type varieties totaled 98,205, up 6.2 percent from 2015, and tons crushed of table type varieties totaled 97,729, up 38.3 percent from 2015.

“The 2016 average price of all varieties was $750.27, up 11.7 percent from 2015. Average prices for the 2016 crop by type were as follows: red wine grapes, $899.44, up 13.9 percent from 2015; white wine grapes, $594.01, up 9.9 percent from 2015; raisin grapes, $213.64, down 13.7 percent; and table grapes, $153.05, down 39.4 percent.

“Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $4,666.35 per ton, up 7.3 percent from 2015.

“District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second highest return of $2,584.87, up 5.9 percent from 2015.

“The 2016 Chardonnay price of $880.51 was up 11.7 percent from 2015, and the Cabernet Sauvignon price of $1,432.73 was up 8.8 percent from 2015.The 2016 average price for Zinfandel was $603.14, up 4.9 percent from 2015, while the Merlot average price was up 3.3 percent from 2015 at $765.34 per ton.”

Historical Resource: Previous Grape Crush Reports (1976 – Current)

Allied Grape Growers News Release: “Below Average”

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEBRUARY 10, 2017

 

2016 CALIFORNIA WINEGRAPE CRUSH SIZE CONFIRMED AS “BELOW AVERAGE”
Fresno, California – The California Agricultural Statistics Service released its annual Preliminary Grape Crush
Report at noon today summarizing the size and value of the 2016 California grape crush. Allied Grape Growers
estimated a 3.9 million ton winegrape crush, as did most industry observers, prior to the release of the report.
Few are surprised by the crush size, as confirmation of a 4,000,790 ton winegrape crush was made public
today.

 

“Even though the 2016 winegrape crush was larger than either of the previous two years, it still fell slightly
short of what we consider an average sized crop in California. Based on bearing acreage estimates and multiyear
yield analysis, an average crush would have landed at right about 4.2 million tons.”, stated Jeff Bitter, Vice
President of Allied Grape Growers.

 

In addition to the winegrape crush, 97,759 tons of table type grapes along
with 98,205 tons of raisin type grapes were crushed, bringing the total California grape crush, of all types, to
4,196,753 tons, an 8.5% increase from the 2015 total. Of the total grape crush in 2016, 9.4% (393,045 tons)
was crushed for [unfermented] grape juice concentrate – used internally by wineries and also in the food
processing industry to add color and/or natural sweetness to various consumables.

 

The weighted average purchase price of California winegrapes in 2016 increased significantly (14% or $97.20
per ton) to $789.36 per ton, demonstrating the overall stability of industry supply/demand, but more
importantly signaling the transition of supply away from the value segments and more toward the mid and
upper sectors of the business. The value segment of the market continues to move closer to balance as
inventories dwindle, while the mid and upper segments of the market continue to enjoy both growing supply
(from new plantings) and strong consumer demand.

 

Year-on-year production changes for major California varietals was mostly up and included Chardonnay (the
largest single variety crushed annually) at 672,418 tons, up 6.1%; Muscat of Alexander at 170,403 tons, down
5.5%; Pinot Grigio at a record 243,655 tons, up a whopping 31.6%; Sauvignon Blanc at 105,509 tons, up an
impressive 19.4%; Cabernet Sauvignon at a record 557,192 tons, up a staggering 22.3%; Merlot at 266,950
tons, up only 5.6%; Pinot Noir at 249,503 tons, up a much needed 34.8%; and Zinfandel at 414,559 tons, up
just 6.7% from 2015. Rubired, a red winegrape variety used predominantly in red grape concentrate
production came in at 247,536 tons, down 11.4% from last year’s record production.

 

The real story from the 2016 winegrape crush remains the fact that perhaps the recent drought years in
California has had negative residual effects on crop size. Two “positively” rainy seasons in a row now might
help California finally experience an ample crop once again in 2017.

###

Ciatti News Release: “Return to Normalcy”

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE, FEBRUARY 10, 2017

2016 California Winegrape Crush; Return to Normalcy

 

(February 10, 2017, San Rafael, CA) – The Preliminary California Grape Crush Report released today shows 4,000,790 tons were crushed. The report reveals the overall crush was up 8% from the 2015 harvest, and the average winegrape price was up 14% to $789/ton. A more in depth look shows the standout varietals, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Petite Sirah, and Pinot Noir proved to be the large tonnage increases from the previous 2015 vintage. New plantings along the coast and the northern interior have produced the rebound yields.

 

The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon gained a surprising 101,500 tons for a historic state total of 557,192. Virtually all California regions increased from 2015 to 2016. Lodi, Modesto, and Paso Robles areas experienced their biggest tonnage ever. We believe that the large increase is due to new plantings coming on line, as vine yields seemed average. Anticipate that the 2017 California Cabernet Sauvignon harvest could move quickly towards 600,000 tons. – Glenn Proctor

 

Chardonnay tonnage was up by 6% and back to 672,000 tons, a yield closer to a state average. This year’s harvest showed regional gains and losses almost opposite to what we had seen in the previous year’s light harvest. Large gains of 12 to 19% were noted in the premium Coastal regions of Sonoma, Napa, and Monterey where demand has been the highest. However yields in the Southern interior valleys from Fresno to Bakersfield were down by 3 to 7%. Pricing for Chardonnay was up as a state average by 10.8% reflecting a continued demand for California’s largest wine grape varietal. – John White

 

The 2016 California Pinot Grigio crop came in at 243,665 tons, up 58,467 tons or 31.6% from
2015. This was the result of new plantings of the last few years beginning to approach full production. Statewide average pricing was essentially flat at $595 per ton. The majority of the state’s Pinot Grigio plantings are in the Central Valley and are controlled by wineries with owned vineyards and/or long term contracts. With that, the opportunity for spot grape purchasing will remain limited in the near future. But there are currently bulk wine purchasing opportunities that didn’t exist after the 2015 harvest. With Pinot Grigio continuing to show strong demand, we see the market to continue to be essentially balanced. – Chris Welch

 

2015 Sauvignon Blanc Vintage witnessed a large influx of demand due to the lowest yields in the past five vintages. In 2015 California harvested 88,256 tons, 2016 we gained 19.5% up to 105,509 tons. Even with this increase in supply, demand made the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc crop feel small. – Todd Azevedo

 

As expected the 2016 Pinot Noir crop provided some relief coming in approximately 35% higher than the 2015 crop report. The Central Coast made the biggest rebound with approximately 58% increase and the North Coast increased approximately 32% from the previous vintage. $1,831/ton was the average

 

price for Pinot Noir in 2016. The highest price per ton comes from Sonoma County at $3,657. Even with the increased yields and high prices, demand remains at an all-time high. – Todd Azevedo

 

After two consecutive light harvests, total state production of Zinfandel was up 6.7% from 2015 to 414,559 tons. Almost all areas saw increases in tonnage, the largest being District 11 (Lodi) increasing 22.7% to a total of 146,397 tons. District 13 (Madera/Fresno) totaled 159,547 tons but was down (- 3.8%) with most of the production destined for a struggling white zin market. On the North Coast District 3 (Sonoma) rose 13.5% while District 4 (Napa) was down (-11%). Despite the increase in production, tonnage levels were still far below that of 2012 and 2013 with relatively no newly planted acres. – Johnny Leonardo

 

State reported a decrease of 40,000 tons produced into grape juice concentrate for 2016 versus 2015. Only 393,000 tons or (9.4%) of this seasons harvest went to concentrate. Specifically, Rubired tonnage was down (11.4%) to 47,000 tons. Raisin and table grapes totaled 196,000 ton or an increase of 17%. We continue to see strong demand on Red juice concentrate, and weaker demand for white concentrate. – John Ciatti