With California’s 2015 vintage down on the previous year it will be interesting to see the knock-on effect on prices in to the trade over the coming 18 months, just as California was finally starting to make serious in roads in to the premium on-trade.
With a harvest down by 7% to 3.86m tons from 4.14m tons in 2014 there are concerns there may not be enough wine to take advantage of California’s firmer footing in the UK on-trade even if local trade wine prices are well down on 2014.
The latest figures from the region’s Grape Crush Report show the full impact the severe drought that continues to make all the headlines State side finally had on the volume and quality of its 2015 vintage.
The drought was exacerbated also by a series of wildfires that also contributed to the lower yields.
Red wines not surprisingly accounted for the majority of the harvest, with 2.07m tons crushed, but again this was down by 5% on last year.
White wines were also down at 5% in volumewith 1.66m tons of grapes harvested.
The average price of all varietals was down 10% on 2014 at $667.31.
Red grape prices are down on average 12% to just over $783.
White wine grape prices are down 10% to $538.
Chardonnay continued to account for the lion’s share of the grape harvest, with just over 16%, while Cabernet Sauvignon was the second biggest varietal, with nearly 12% share.
The Napa County dominates the wine scene and was able to secure the highest price for its grapes at $4,238 per ton, a 6% increase on last year. Sonoma and Marin counties received the second highest return at $2,4440, a 5% increase on 2014.
The 2015 Chardonnay price of $785.87 was down 9 percent from 2014, and the Cabernet Sauvignon price of $1,302.74 dropped by the same percentage.
Zinfandel was also down 8% on the previous year to $573.33, while the Merlot average price slipped by 5% to $738.08 per ton.