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California Winegrape Crop Tops 4 Million Tons for 2012

Crop up 20% From 2011

NOVATO, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 02/08/13 --


"To the benefit of growers, wineries and consumers, California harvested its biggest winegrape crop to date in 2012, led by major growth in the main varietals. A long, moderate growing season in most areas of the state produced excellent quality and allowed the grapes to continue to size right up to harvest. According to the state Grape Crush Report released today, wineries crushed over four million tons of winegrapes, the equivalent of 680,000 million gallons. Growing consumer demand is expected to easily absorb the increase, especially after a light harvest in 2011. Bulk imports by California producers, who have been short of several key varieties, are likely to drop significantly." -Steve Fredricks, President

"With retail sales of Cabernet Sauvignon growing strongly, producers are delighted with an 18%, or 77,000 ton increase over the five year average. At 495,600 tons, it is the second largest crop in state history. Lodi accounted for 22,000 tons of that increase. Districts 7 (mostly Monterey County) and 8 (mostly Paso Robles), contributed 15,000 tons to the increase over the five year average." -Brian Clements, Vice President

"Chardonnay statewide was up 13%, an increase of 87,000 tons, over its five year average. The Lodi area produced 20,000 tons of that increase with the second largest Chardonnay harvest in the history of the region. Sonoma County had its largest Chardonnay crop ever, up 16,000 tons over the five year average." - Brian Clements, Vice President

"Merlot grew 13% over the five year 2011 average and 17% compared to the previous year." -Steve Fredricks, President

"Zinfandel climbed 11% over the five year average and 30% compared to 2011's light crop. The demand for 'red blends,' has resulted in the reset of Lodi Zinfandel from white to red production. 2011 was the lightest year for Zinfandel in 15 years, which created a backlog of demand." -Erica Moyer, Partner/Grape Broker

"After two light harvests, 2010 and 2011, one larger harvest has not overwhelmed demand. Supply of grapes for 2013 remains relatively tight in all regions of California, and demand is strong." - Steve Fredricks, President

"Even when the winery tanks were full, a number of wineries did whatever they could to bring in as many of the picture-perfect clusters as possible." -Brian Clements, Vice President

"Over the last ten years, the Pinot Noir crop has grown an impressive 356% across California -- yet there continues to be high demand!" - Brian Clements, Vice President

Napa Valley

"Napa growers harvested an incredible 70,935 tons, the equivalent of 12 million gallons of Cabernet Sauvignon. Fortunately, as winemakers evaluate the new wines, the quality promises to be impressive. Even with a record harvest, demand continues to stay strong for 2013 grapes." -Brian Clements, Vice President

Sonoma County

"In 2012, the North Coast experienced a rare 'trifecta': an impressively large crop, strong demand and perfect weather that produced fantastic quality grapes. This abundance is good for everyone, especially consumers." -Brian Clements, Vice President

"For the first time in many years, nearly all major varieties in California are in demand." -Brian Clements, Vice President

"The Sonoma County Chardonnay harvest yielded 80,879 tons, the largest crop ever. It is worth noting, however, that last year's big crop has only put a small dent in demand for 2013 Chardonnay grapes." -Brian Clements, Vice President

"Although 2012 Sonoma County Pinot Noir tonnage jumped an amazing 95% over 2011, the demand for 2013 has not gone 'Sideways.' We currently have more buyers than sellers and prices are profitable for both wineries and growers at this time." -Brian Clements, Vice President

"The short-term benefit of a more normal crush will mean ample supplies of bulk wine actively for sale in 2013 and may soften some prices, yet un-contracted fruit for 2013 is limited and sales continue to grow. Demand seems poised to exceed supply for the near future." -Brian Clements, Vice President

Central Coast

"Merlot continues to make a resurgence in the grape and bulk wine markets, due largely to demand as a blender for Cabernet Sauvignon and as a component in Red Blends. For the second time in nine years the weighted average price per ton exceeded $1000/ton in District 8." -Audra Cooper, Partner/Grape Broker

"Cabernet Sauvignon in District 8 exceeded expectations at 15% above the five year average, despite two of the past five years experiencing major frost damage. Even with the increased production, demand continues to outstrip supply." -Audra Cooper, Partner/Grape Broker

"The record 2012 Pinot Noir crop in District 8 jumped an impressive 90% from 2011 and 40% from its five year average." -Audra Cooper, Partner/Grape Broker

"After the disastrous 2011 harvest, the Pinot Noir crop rebounded to produce a new record of 54,104 tons in District 7." -Erica Moyer, Partner/Grape Broker


"Lodi hit a home run with Cabernet Sauvignon, producing 26% of the state total, far more than any other region. Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon production jumped an impressive 36% over last year's light harvest." - Erica Moyer, Partner/Grape Broker

"Lodi produced its third largest crop of Zinfandel, despite a continuing shift from higher yielding White Zinfandel to lower yielding Red Zinfandel. This shift is also reflected in increasing average price, from $444 per ton in 2010 to $626 in 2011 to $811 in 2012."
-Erica Moyer, Partner/Grape Broker

About Turrentine Brokerage
Turrentine Brokerage, founded in 1973, serves as trusted and strategic advisors to growers, wineries, and financiers and specializes in the strategic sourcing of wine grapes and bulk wine from the major growing areas across the globe. Working with thousands of wineries worldwide, and with over 2,000 growers, this experienced team has negotiated transactions between buyers and sellers valued at more than $2 billion over the past decade.

Brian Clements
Vice President / Partner
(707) 495-8151
specialty - grapes from all of California, especially Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino & Lake Counties

Steve Fredricks
President / Partner
(415) 847-0603
specialty - grapes and bulk wine from all of California and around the world

Erica Moyer
(209) 988-7334
specialty - grapes from the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys and the Central Coast

Audra Cooper
(805) 400-9930
specialty - grapes from the Central Coast

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