The following is very interesting info from Ciatti, Global Wine & Grape Brokers, regarding the 2016 harvest.
The Ciatti Company
Ciatti is the world’s largest and most comprehensive bulk wine and grape brokerage frim. 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.
Founded in 1972, Ciatti 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.
The Preliminary California Grape Crush Report just released shows 4,000,790 tons were crushed in 2016. The report reveals the overall crush was up eight percent from the 2015 harvest, and the average winegrape price was up 14 percent to $789.00 per ton. A more in depth look shows the standout varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio, Petite Sirah, and Pinot Noir proved to be the largest tonnage increases from the previous 2015 vintage. New plantings along the coast and the northern interior have produced the rebound yields.
Since I have a personal interest in Petite Sirah, as the founding executive director of PS I Love You, the wine grape advocacy group of Petite Sirah, I’ve also asked for more info on this variety. Meanwhile, below are quotes from the Ciatti team.
Ciatti’s Experts Offer Insight
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon gained a surprising 101,500 tons, for a historic state total of 557,192. Virtually all California regions increased from 2015 to 2016. Lodi, Modesto, and Paso Robles areas experienced their biggest tonnage ever. We believe that the large increase is due to new plantings coming on line, as vine yields seemed average. Anticipate that the 2017 California Cabernet Sauvignon harvest could move quickly towards 600,000 tons.” – Glenn Proctor
“Chardonnay tonnage was up by six percent and back to 672,000 tons, a yield closer to a state average. This year’s harvest showed regional gains and losses almost opposite to what we had seen in the previous year’s light harvest. Large gains of 12 to 19 percent were noted in the premium Coastal regions of Sonoma, Napa, and Monterey where demand has been the highest. However, yields in the Southern interior valleys from Fresno to Bakersfield were down by three to seven percent. Pricing for Chardonnay was up as a state average by 10.8 percent, reflecting a continued demand for California’s largest wine grape varietal.” – John White
“The 2016 California Pinot Grigio (Gris) crop came in at 243,665 tons, up 58,467 tons or 31.6 percent from 2015. This was the result of new plantings of the last few years beginning to approach full production. Statewide average pricing was essentially flat at $595 per ton. The majority of the state’s Pinot Grigio plantings are in the Central Valley and are controlled by wineries with owned vineyards and/or long term contracts. With that, the opportunity for spot grape purchasing will remain limited in the near future. But there are currently bulk wine purchasing opportunities that didn’t exist after the 2015 harvest. With Pinot Grigio continuing to show strong demand, we see the market to continue to be essentially balanced.” – Chris Welch
“The 2015 Sauvignon Blanc Vintage witnessed a large influx of demand due to the lowest yields in the past five vintages. In 2015, California harvested 88,256 tons, 2016 we gained 19.5 percent up to 105,509 tons. Even with this increase in supply, demand made the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc crop feels small.” – Todd Azevedo
“As expected, the 2016 Pinot Noir crop provided some relief coming in approximately 35 percent higher than the 2015 crop report. The Central Coast made the biggest rebound with approximately 58 percent increase and the North Coast increased approximately 32 percent from the previous vintage. The average price for Pinot Noir tonnage in 2016 was $1,831/ton. The highest price per ton comes from Sonoma County at $3,657. Even with the increased yields and high prices, demand remains at an all-time high.” – Todd Azevedo
“After two consecutive light harvests, total state production of Zinfandel was up 6.7 percent from 2015 to 414,559 tons. Almost all areas saw increases in tonnage, the largest being District 11 (Lodi) increasing 22.7 percent to a total of 146,397 tons. District 13 (Madera/Fresno) totaled 159,547 tons, but was down (-3.8 percent), with most of the production destined for a struggling white zin market. On the North Coast, District 3 (Sonoma) rose 13.5 percent, while District 4 (Napa) was down (-11 percent). Despite the increase in production, tonnage levels were still far below that of 2012 and 2013 with relatively no newly planted acres.” – Johnny Leonardo
“State reported a decrease of 40,000 tons produced into grape juice concentrate for 2016 versus 2015. Only 393,000 tons or (9.4 percent) of this seasons harvest went to concentrate. Specifically, Rubired tonnage was down (11.4 percent) to 47,000 tons. Raisin and table grapes totaled 196,000 ton or an increase of 17 percent. We continue to see strong demand on Red juice concentrate, and weaker demand for white concentrate.” – John Ciatti