2015 Preliminary Grape Crush Report...

NOVATO, CA — (Marketwired) — 02/10/16 — The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Preliminary Grape Crush Report for 2015 has been released. It is a critical barometer for the wine and grape industry, containing tons crushed and prices of wine grapes sold during the 2015 harvest. The Crush Report provides growers and wineries insight into the inventory position for the California wine business as a whole, and influences market dynamics for the current bulk wine market as well as the upcoming 2016 harvest.

Key Insights

“The 2015 Preliminary Grape Crush Report, as released by the National Agriculture Statistics Service, announced a California statewide wine grape crop of 3.7 million tons. This is the lightest California wine grape crop since 2011 — down 5%, or about 32 million gallons from 2014. The crop was especially light in coastal regions which predominantly supply premium and luxury programs. Overall, the lighter crop helped to balance out inventories built up from the previous three good sized crops.”

-Steve Fredricks, President, Turrentine Brokerage

“The 2015 crop came in below estimate in most coastal areas of California and in some areas the crop delivered was dramatically under expectations. This has caused the grape and bulk wine markets to become very active in the early months of 2016.”

-Brian Clements, Vice President, Turrentine Brokerage

North Coast
“Due to poor weather during bloom, grape cluster weights were down in Sonoma County. This adversely affected Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in particular. Sonoma County Pinot Noir was down 36% off of the five year average, while Chardonnay was down 27%. This has stimulated the bulk wine market and the grape market to start earlier than previous years.”

-Brian Clements, Vice President, Turrentine Brokerage

“The release of the 2015 California Grape Crush Report shows grape prices continuing to climb to record highs for Sonoma County and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, $2,642 and $6,224 per ton, respectively. Turrentine Brokerage’s internal sales show that newly contracted grape prices are even higher than that.”

“The Sonoma County Chardonnay crop was down 27% off long-term average and Pinot Noir was down 36%. Cluster counts early on left the impression the 2015 crop could be reasonably sized again, but poor weather during bloom and a warmer summer resulted in much lower cluster weights. The low crop has meant wineries are active in the bulk and grape markets much earlier than the last few years.”

-Mike Needham, North Coast Grape Broker, Turrentine Brokerage

“The total crush was down 5% from last year due mostly to the short crop in coastal regions. However, an ample harvest in Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley helped lift the total California grape crop. Northern Interior production was 2% down from last year, bolstered by new acres and a better Chardonnay crop than 2014.”

-Erica Moyer, Interior and Central Coast Grape Broker, Turrentine Brokerage


Pinot Noir at Hanna Occidental 9-3-15

Farmers report challenges hiring help for harvest...

Nearly two-thirds of farmers who responded to a survey by the California Farm
Bureau Federation said they experienced challenges finding enough employees to
tend and harvest crops in 2012. Farm Bureau released the results of the online
survey this week. The survey included responses from nearly 800 Farm Bureau
members about their experience during the harvest season.

Read the full article from AgAlert

Grape harvesters rush to beat the rain...

Overnight rain dampening the North Coast and its unpicked grapes won’t dampen the spirits of grape growers, winemakers and winery owners buoyed by what they’re calling the best harvest in years.

About one inch of rain is expected to fall, most of it coming this morning. Tuesday and Wednesday could have showers off and on coupled with cool afternoons and cold mornings.

Grape harvesters probably follow weather forecasts closer than they’re following the Giants playoff games. Everyone with grape skin in the harvesting game knew last week that a cold storm was on the way.

But with the rain forecast bumped up from Tuesday to sometime after midnight Sunday, vineyard managers late last week hustled to add night and Sunday crews to the schedule.

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