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California Wine Grapes Savor Great 2013 Finish

on 17/02/14 at 9:51 am


indexHere is something to savor amid all the grim news about drought: The state’s wine grape growers had a record harvest last year, a boon for consumers and for one of the Modesto area’s top industries.

The crop came in at 4.23 million tons, the California Department of Food and Agriculture reported this week. It was up 5% from the 4.02 million tons in 2012, which also was a record.

The back-to-back bumper crops mean plenty of affordable bottles on the shelves, though probably not the extreme bargains that emerged in a grape glut about a decade ago.

“Consumers are in a great position because of the amount of wine that is coming out of California,” said Erica Moyer of Riverbank, a grape and wine broker for Turrentine Brokerage in Novato, Marin County.

She said demand has been especially strong for wines priced from $10 to $15, a key market for wineries in the northern San Joaquin Valley, including the world’s largest producer, E.&J. Gallo Winery in Modesto and the Livingston area.

The Wine Group, whose holdings include a large winery near Ripon, is a major player, as are Bronco Wine Co., south of Ceres, and DFV Family Wines, formerly Delicato, near Manteca.