California 2016 winegrape crush report

As California continued to be battered by wet winter storms and the risk grew for the possible catastrophic failure of the Oroville dam in the northern part of the state, the recent release of the official Preliminary California Grape Crush Report concerning the 2016 grape harvest brought some welcome good news. The number of tons crushed reached 4,196,753 which represents a hike of 8.5% from 2015. This figure includes the number of tons crushed for concentrate production, accounting for 393,000 tons or 9.4% of the total. Practically all the wine regions of the state contributed to the increase, although some of it is attributed to new plantings along the coast and in northern interior areas. The trio of grape varieties most associated with California held the lion’s share of crush volume, Chardonnay in the lead with 16%, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon at 13.3% and Zinfandel at 9.9%. Of particular note is the gain of 101,500 tons for Cabernet Sauvignon, attaining a historic state total of 557,191.5 tons. Two big jumps were registered with two Pinot varieties.  Pinot Noir moved not sideways but upwards with an increase of 35% from 2015, whereas Pinot Grigio, most of it grown in the Central Valley where new plantings are beginning to reach full production, was up 31.6%.