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Calif 2020 grape harvest CRUSHED by smoke, warm weather


Complete link coverage from other media outlets can be found at this link.

Click this link for the Full Crush report (PDF)


Ciatti Company: Mother Nature & Smoke Taint

“Total tons were down but that was due to both Mother Nature’s lighter yields and issues of smoke exposure that plagued most of the entire Coastal regions where an unknown amount of the crop didn’t get picked.

“Trying to discern how each of these issues affected the final tons that crossed scales is a question that will drive future discussions in this market place. Those same issues could be examined when analyzing the pricing we see in this report. Pricing was down across the board.

“Mostly we feel that was due to a sluggish to nonexistent Coastal spot grape market in early 2020. But also, to a lesser extent, that was due to the lower prices we saw during a secondary Coastal grape market that emerged where grape prices were being discounted after the fires hit.

“What we do know is that the entire market is back closer to balance than we’ve seen in recent memory.”

Turrentine Brokerage

‘The crop was light due, in part, to lower yields per acre as a result of a warm growing season and grapes left on the vine over concerns of exposure to smoke. The crop decreases mostly affected by smoke were Sonoma County Pinot Noir, Monterey County Pinot Noir, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon.

“The short crop helped to balance out some of the excesses in coastal bulk wine that had built up over previous years from new bearing acres, slower sales growth, and larger than average yields per acre.

“The spot market for grapes and bulk wine became more active during harvest last year and there is continued market activity early in 2021.” — Steve Fredricks, President

Data from the Crush Report


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The 2020 crush totaled 3,542,038 tons, down 13.9% from the 2019 crush of 4,115,413 tons. Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 1,813,964 tons, down 15.9% from 2019.


White wine varieties crushed totaled 1,590,335 tons, down 9.8% from 2019. Tons crushed of raisin type varieties totaled 42,425, down
30.5% from 2019, and tons crushed of table type varieties totaled 95,315, down 29.1% from 2019.


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In 2020, Chardonnay continued to account for the largest percentage of the total tonnage crushed at 15.2%. Cabernet Sauvignon accounted for the second largest percentage of the total crush at 14.1%. Table grape varieties crushed for wine accounted for less than 3% of the total crush for the first time since 2016. Raisin varieties crushed for wine were a record low at 1.2% of the total crush.


District 13 (Madera, Fresno, Alpine, Mono, Inyo Counties; and Kings and Tulare Counties north of Nevada Avenue (Avenue 192)), had the largest share of the State’s crush at 1,229,676 tons. The average price per ton in District 13 was $314.25.


Grapes produced in District 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price at $4,577.62 per ton, down 20.7% from 2019. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second highest average price at $2,417.48 per ton, down 15.1% from 2019.


The 2020 Chardonnay average price of $827.85 was down 9.3% from 2019 and the Cabernet Sauvignon average price of $1,230.96 was down 30.5% from 2019. The 2020 average price for Zinfandel was $519.04, down 11.0% from 2019, while the French Colombard average price was up 4.2% from 2019, at $287.52 per ton.

Smoke Damage

Prices reflect adjustments due to smoke damage, as reported by purchasers. For more information about how purchasers reported smoke damaged grapes, go to: Smoke affected grapes – how do I report?


The Grape Crush Report includes the total number of tons crushed for concentrate production. In determining grape tonnage crushed for concentrate production, each processor was required to report the estimated equivalent tons of grapes crushed for grape concentrate. For the 2020 season, this total was 311,662 tons, 8.8% of the 2020 grape crush total. This report provides only the aggregate figure for grapes crushed for concentrate production and does not include information by district, type, or variety.


The 2020 average price of all varieties was $674.72, down 16.8% from 2019. Average prices for the 2020 crop by type were as follows: red wine grapes, $791.33, down 22.4% from 2019; white wine grapes, $554.74, down 5.9% from 2019; table grapes, $162.41, down 38.2% from 2019; and raisin grapes, $250.58, up 2.3% from 2019.