Home Industry News Releases 2015 California Winegrape Crush; A Tale of Two Harvests: Valley vs Coast

2015 California Winegrape Crush; A Tale of Two Harvests: Valley vs Coast


Ciatti 300x200(February 10, 2016, San Rafael, CA) – The Preliminary California Grape Crush Report released today reveals the overall California winegrape crush was down for a second year in a row. 2015 came in 5% lower than that of 2014 at 3,699,242 tons. The average winegrape price was also down, by 11%, from 2014 to $680. However, after looking at the numbers it is clear that 2015 was a tale of two harvests, the Valley districts were up overall by 5% with pricing down yet the Coastal areas were down significantly, by 29% with pricing up in general.

The state tonnage yields for Cabernet Sauvignon were down 11% from 511,000 tons to 455,000 tons (or an equivalent of 3.9 million cases of wine). The most dramatic Cabernet Sauvignon decreases were in Napa (-24%), Sonoma (-28%), Monterey (-41%) and SLO/Santa Barbara (-37%) – the exact appellations that have seen the most volume expansion over the last 5 years and where the industry really needed a healthy crop. – Chris Welch

Chardonnay, the largest variety in the state, was down substantially by -11.8% to a total of 633,000 tons, making it the lightest crop since 2011. The Chardonnay crop size was down the equivalent of 6 million cases, helping to erase the last 3 years of surpluses especially in the Coastal regions. Notable shortages were seen in the premium regions of Napa, Sonoma and Monterey which were down sharply between 26 to 32%. Overall quality was very good due to excellent ripening conditions during the harvest. – John White

Pinot Grigio tonnage actually grew again this past season by 1.7% to 184,985 tons. Supply of Pinot Grigio remains tight and future plantings are needed. Consumer demand for Pinot Grigio continues to absorb all the volume produced here, along with substantial volumes coming from off shore. – John Ciatti

With a 25% lighter Pinot Noir Crop in both the interior and the coast one would think pricing on this varietal would be stronger. However, despite the lighter crop the Pinot Noir price in general was down 5% but still managed to be the highest price per ton of all varieties. – Todd Azevedo

The California Zinfandel crush was up 9% in 2015 totaling 387,958 tons. The majority of that increased volume came from District 13 which was up 31% from 2014 and mostly used for White Zinfandel production. District 11 (Lodi) which made up one third of the state’s production was down 4.8%. – Johnny Leonardo

The market continues to drop dramatically for domestic White Grape Juice Concentrate due to decreased industry demand in both the food beverage and value wine market segments. Because of these factors we expect to see continued massive pullouts of generic White grapes used for raisins and juice stock. With only 162,000 tons crushed, (92k of raisin varietals and 70k of table grapes) 2015 is the smallest crush on for White Grape Juice Concentrate on record. We’re still seeing very solid demand for Rubired grapes in the domestic wine industry. 2015 crop increased to 279,500 up 15.4% from 2014. – Greg MaGill


The Ciatti Company is the world’s largest and most comprehensive bulk wine and grape brokerage. Aside from its home base in San Rafael, California, seven additional offices around the world provide clients the kind of information and intelligence that today’s competitive global wine industry demands. The company, founded in 1972, has deep roots in the wine industry, both in California and the countries in which the company operates. The current partnership includes industry professionals with over 135 years of collective experience including: John Ciatti, Greg Livengood, Glenn Proctor, John White, Chris Welch and Steve Dorfman. ### Contact: Ciatti Company, Lora Parnell, 1101 Fifth Ave # 170, San Rafael, CA 94901 [email protected] Phone (415) 458 – 5150 Fax (415) 458-5160 www.ciatti.com Twitter @CiattiCompany

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