Harvest takes $142 million toll on North Coast growers

on 11/02/11 at 1:50 pm

Wine

The Sonoma County grape crush fell 10.7 percent last year, a significant blow to the local economy but far less than the 20 percent drop many had predicted.

Still, the combination of falling grape prices and a smaller harvest in 2010 cost Sonoma County growers $88.4 million last year, according to a preliminary government report released Thursday.

“That has a ripple effect through our economy,” said Nick Frey, president of the Sonoma County Winegrape Commission. “It will be felt by local suppliers, lenders and others servicing the grape industry.”

The value of the North Coast grape crop fell to $902.7 million last year, down from $1.05 billion in 2009. Sonoma County growers suffered the biggest hit, receiving $370.5 million for their fruit last year, down from $458.9 million in 2009.

Yet many had expected a more dire report.

{Full story via Press Democrat}

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