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Wine grape value little changed in Napa, Calif.

Chardonnay grapes
<p>Chardonnay grapes are among the top three varietals planted in Napa County, Calif.</p>
Wine grapes make up 99 percent of Napa County&#39;s agricultural value in 2013 &nbsp; &nbsp;

Napa County, California saw a statistically insignificant drop in its overall Ag value in 2013 of less than 1 percent, according to the latest report from Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark.

Total agricultural production in the county known for its wine grape production fell about $3.1 million from the previous year’s record figure to roughly $662.1 million.

About 99 percent of Napa’s total Ag value is in wine grapes. At more than $656 million, wine grape production continues to increase in value as Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot make up the top three varieties planted in the county. Napa’s wine grape value was statistically unchanged in 2013 from the previous year, while production tonnage dropped just over 8,000 tons, or about 4.4 percent, for the year.

Wine grape tonnage harvested in 2013 was reported at 174,847 tons from 43,568 acres, creating an average price of $3,753 per ton on all wine grape varieties. The highest average price for any varietal was $5,474 per ton for Cabernet Sauvignon. There were 19,365 bearing acres of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2013.

In 2013, approximately 65,919 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon was harvested. Chardonnay (6,770 acres) exceeded Merlot (5,348 acres) by 1,422 bearing acres, but Merlot sold at $302 more per ton on average. Merlot production was 21,038 tons, valued at an average of $2,771 per ton. Chardonnay production of 31,228 tons was valued on average at $2,469 per ton. These three varieties together accounted for over 67 percent (118,185 tons) of all production and almost 76 percent ($496,238,800) of the total wine grape value

Olive production took a large hit in Napa County, due in large part to its alternate bearing nature and damage from high populations of the Olive Fruit Fly. Total olive production values were down $436,300.

On a more positive note, vegetable production increased by $223,000 from the previous year. Floral and nursery production decreased in value by $1,012,700. The value for field crops decreased $142,800. Livestock had a decrease of $921,200.

Pest Exclusion Activities

County staff kept busy in 2013 surveying for all life stages of the Glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS). Officials inspected1,978 plant shipments, resulting in the discovery of one positive GWSS egg mass. Out-of-state nursery shipments, inspection of household goods for gypsy moth and other “high hazard” shipment inspections continued to be a priority for inspectors. The county continues to use a canine team occasionally to “sniff out” contraband and prevent it from entering the county through common carriers.

Organic Farming Statistics

The number of certified organic farms rose slightly to 150. In 2013, the organic wine grape production acreage decreased by 362. These statistics do not include the many vineyards that used organic practices that would qualify for organic certification, but whose owners did not choose official certification.

The full agricultural report can be found online at Hard copies are available at each of the County libraries or at the Agricultural Commissioner’s office at 1710 Soscol Ave. in Napa.

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