Saturday, February 09, 2013

A record grape year: 2012.

The cover story in today's Napa Valley Register reported the Friday release, by the California Department of Food & Agriculture, of the entire state of California's 2012 grape crop statistics.  Of course, I am primarily concerned with the Napa Valley's vitals, but overall it had me all misty-eyed.
The Napa Valley's 2012 grape crop weighed in at 383 tons more than the previous bumper tonnage, a record held since 2005, of 180,800 tons - that's a whopping 181,183 tons of glorious grapes in 2012.  And because there was a butt-load (technical term) more grapes, the value of Napa County's harvest increased from $412 million in 2011 to $648 million in 2012 - that's a 50% increase!
Some highlights; Cabernet Sauvignon prices rose 9% over last year to an average of $5,101 per ton (Paul Hobbs probably paid more - like $22,000 more);  Cabernet Franc was a close second averaging $5,053 per ton;  Pinot noir was the only grape variety to see a drop in price, just 1% though, to $2,485 per ton.  Perhaps better prices for bubbly down the road?  We'll see.
However, the grape variety that garnered the highest price per ton was...drum roll...Refosco. Who? Refosco, a grape variety widely planted in Fruili (Italy), but taking up a mere 5 acres of prime Napa Valley real estate, it was able to command a walloping $5,500 per ton for it's grower.  I'm thinking of ripping out Vinoland's Pinot grigio...


NHwineman said...

V-Girl, just a note to say how lovely the soft green and the shadows of this picture are.
Seems that a very busy time is about to descend on V-Land!
May the blossoms be bright and full, and the bees be busy to.

Thomas said...


Do you happen to know which of the Refosco family the Napa version is?

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Thanks. I took the photo, but the effects are all Picasa!
Busy bees are not necessary for grape flower fertilisation, but they are more than welcome, in Vinoland, to pollinate everything else.

Tomasso: I don't know, but I intend to find out.

Thud said...

I'm off looking for that vineyard again! puts that one in St Helena I sent you details of in perspective hey?

Vinogirl said...

Thud: I'm assuming the grower had a crystal ball at their disposal (at least 4 years ago) to be able to predict that his/her 5 acre vineyard, of a relatively obscure grape, would be so successful.

Thud said...

I always liked my idea of growing rare/heirloom varietals.