California winegrape harvest yields vintage crop

11/18/2013 11:37:00 AM
Vicky Boyd

2013 California winegrape harvestCourtesy The Wine InstituteA dry, warm spring with few frosts created nearly ideal conditions to kick off the growth of California's winegrapes.

The result was a harvest of high quality fruit, with wineries running at capacity, according to a news release.

Winegrape growers and winemakers are seeing fruit with a good balance of acidity and sugar, nice color and tannins and optimal flavor.

"It is a bit unusual to have a vintage of this quality following the standout vintage we had in 2012," Charlie Hossom, viticulture director of Manteca-based Delicato Family Vineyards, said in the release.

Nat DiBuduo, president of the Fresno-based Allied Grape Growers, estimates the 2013 crop was about the same size as 2012—about 4 million tons. The California Agricultural Statistics Service won't issue its first crush estimate until early next year.

DiBuduo based his projections on a slightly smaller coastal crop and a possibly larger crop from the Central Valley.

Some of the interior growth is due to new vineyards, which are planted on tighter spacings, coming into production.

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