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Sonoma County's 2012 Grape Production Grows

Stellar harvests in Sonoma, Napa and Marin counties boosted California to a record grape crush in 2012.

Sonoma and Marin counties grew abundant, high-value wine grape crops in 2012, a boon to the industry that saw lackluster harvests in 2010 and 2011.

In Sonoma and Marin counties, wineries crushed 266,101 tons of grapes last year, a 60 percent increase from the previous year.

The value of the region's crop grew 67 percent to $581 million, according to the preliminary 2012 grape crush report, which was released earlier this month by the the state office of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service and the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Across the state, grape harvests were bountiful in 2012. California produced a record 4,013,904 tons of wine grapes in 2012, according to Wines & Vines. It's the first time the statewide crush has surpassed 4 million tons, the Press Democrat reported.

Napa County recorded a 49 percent increase in grape production. The bumper crop there is worth an estimated $648 million.

Statewide, red varietals were up 19 percent from 2011 and accounted for more than half of the production. White varietals saw an even larger increase of 21 percent, according to Eat Drink Explore.

2012 Grape Harvest
Tons Crushed
Napa County 2012 Marin/Sonoma 2012 Statewide 2012 Statewide 2011 Reds Cabernet Sauvignon 70,934.9 46,769.8 495,662.0 384,302.2 Zinfandel 5,358.3 23,107.2 449,649.7 345,168.1 Merlot 24,977.4 21,472.8 334,485.0 286,340.4 Pinot Noir 11,695.8 52,379.8 226,503.9 256,276.1 Syrah 2,954.9 5,116.2 132,190.7 132,190.7 Whites Chardonnay 31,790.6 80,879.2 734,864.4 558,794.6 Pinot Gris 981.5 2,634.5 195,364.8 173,568.2 Sauvignon Blanc 17,086.0 14,787.9 113,146.4 79,074.6 Source: 2012 grape crush report

Grapes produced in Napa County netted the highest average price in the state. The rate of $3,578.79 per ton was up 5 percent from 2011. Sonoma and Marin counties received the second highest price of $2,181.88, a 5 percent increase from 2011, according to the 2012 grape crush report.

Grape Prices, average per ton Sonoma/Marin Napa County Reds Cabernet Sauvignon $2,310.74 $5,098.64 Zinfandel $2,417.70 $3,024.16 Merlot $1,493.93 $2,661.70 Pinot Noir $3,023.60 $2,484.52 Syrah $2,148.79 $3,038.61 Whites Chardonnay $1,895.74 $2,363.06 Pinot Gris $1,651.50 $1,913.94 Sauvignon Blanc $1,417.96 $1,880.73 Source: 2012 grape crush report

The final draft of the 2012 grape crush report should be completed later this month.

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