2020 Marks 10-Year Low for California Winegrape Production
The California winegrape crush report was released last month, and the total production was a 10-year low of under 3.5 million tons. Jeff Bitter is the president of Allied Grape Growers, a 400+ winegrape grower member cooperative that sells winegrapes to wineries.
Bitter… “Most analysts in the industry, including myself, were predicting a 3.35 to 3.4 million ton wine grape crush. That's exactly where it ended up: it was 3.4 and change. And it was hard to predict what it would be because there was a significant amount of grapes left to hang on the vine last year because of smoke exposure and a damage done to those crops that rendered them useless for the market. And also there was a short crop to begin with - yields were not very high. We could see that coming into harvest so that again did not surprise us. But the combination of those two things together brought us down under 3.5 million tons, which we haven't been there in that range of low production since 2011. And so this is kind of a 10 year low that we're currently looking at now in the wine business.”
Bitter says the estimated production loss due to smoke exposure was around 300,000 tons.