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...