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The Napa Grape Crusher
California wine producers crushed more than 4.5 million tons of grapes in 2018, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service.

2018 grape crush tops 4.5 million tons

California volume up 6.2 percent from 2017, NASS reports.

Wine producers in California crushed more than 4.5 million tons of grapes after the 2018 harvest, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service's final report.

The total of 4,506,583 tons was up 6.2 percent from the 2017 crush of 4,241,945 tons, NASS' office in Sacramento reported on April 10.

Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of grapes crushed, at nearly 2.45 million tons -- up 8.8 percent from the previous year, according to the agency.

The 2018 white wine variety crush totaled a little more than 1.8 million tons, rising 3.8 percent from 2017. Tons crushed of raisin-type varieties totaled 82,508, down 12.5 percent from 2017, while table-grape varieties sent to crush amounted to 142,391 tons, an 8 percent increase from the previous year, the report states.

The 2018 price for all varieties was $831.63, up 6.8 percent from 2017. According to NASS, the average prices by type last year were as follows: red wine grapes, $1,019.03, up 5.5 percent from 2017; white wine grapes, $634.84, up 8.0 percent from 2017; raisin grapes, $299.48, up 18.4 percent; and table grapes, $192.01, up 7.6 percent.

To read the full report, click here.

NASS skipped a preliminary report for 2018 and published only a final report because of the partial federal government shutdown earlier this year. A report on grape acreage is due out April 19.

The bigger crush came as U.S. wine exports, 90 percent of which were from Caifornia, were down 4.8% in value and 1.2% in volume because of the strong dollar, retaliatory tariffs, competition from foreign wine producers who are heavily subsidized by their governments and benefiting from free trade agreements in key markets, according to a report from the San Francisco-based Wine Institute.

The crush fed a sudden global glut of grapes that has combined with changes in consumer attitudes, more competiton among drink choices and increases in production costs to slow the wine industry's growth, industry representatives reported during the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento in January.

TAGS: USDA
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