California Enjoys Prolific Year for Wine Grapes

Aficionadas of wine will find it easier to purchase bargain bottles of wine after a bumper crop in 2013 worth $3.16 billion.

Agriculture officials in California reported that great news for those who love wine and for operators of vineyards alike. The wine grapes harvest was record breaking.

Growers in the premier wine region of the U.S. brought in a huge crop in 2013 thanks to weather that was overall favorable and expanded acreage.

Wine brokers said that two straight years of big harvests means that wine aficionadas would find a myriad of bargain bottles in the shelves of grocery stores.

This is a great position for consumers because of the quantity of wine coming from the state of California, said on wine and grape broker in Novato, California.

Wine grapes continue to be one of the top commodities in California, with a value of over $31.6 billion in 2013.

The California Food and Agriculture Department’s preliminary figures indicate the crop of white and red varieties combined together total 4.23 million tons for 2013, which was up by 5% from the 2012 totals of 4.02 million.

The grape industry is well positioned to use the large crops to their advantage, said a spokesperson with the wine grape association of growers.

Following short crops during 2010 and 2011, the growers have been able to deliver two great vintages, with harvests of record size and exceptional grape quality, said the spokesperson.

While the vineyards of Napa County carry an international cachet, in the San Joaquin Valley stretched over 220 miles from the city of Stockton to Bakersfield is the most prolific region of grape growing in all the U.S. It is home to 44% of the entire crop of California.

Along with table grapes and raisins, vast amounts of wine grapes are harvested mechanically for labels that have become hugely popular such as Gallo’s less expensive brands and Charles Shaw. The grapes are also used to blend with other for higher end wines.

The valley’s large growers are sitting poised to enjoy profits from the higher volumes, said analysts.