From the Stockton Record:
If California wineries crush 4.1 million tons of grapes this fall as expected, it could make this year's harvest the largest since 2009, according to industry experts.
But unlike 2009, when grape prices fell because of the large crop and consumer demand was undercut by the recession, California wine and grapes currently are in short supply and prices are expected to remain strong.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week forecast wine-grape production at 3.7 million tons, up 9 percent from the 2011 crop.
(For more, see: Thompson green price reaches $325 per ton for short crop)
Nat DiBuduo, president of the Allied Grape Growers cooperative, estimates that with about 300,000 tons of raisin-variety grapes and 100,000 tons of table grapes also going into winery tanks, the total crush could reach 4.1 million tons.
DiBuduo, whose co-op negotiates grape sales to wineries on behalf of its grower members, sees no downside to a larger crush.
"When I look at the demand I'm getting for grapes, ... I don't see a negative in that number," he said. "I think the industry can handle it."
For more, see: Grape industry experts hopeful of juicy harvest