California grape crush is big on size and quality

Wine grape vintners and growers throughout California reported another high quality and generous vintage in 2013.

Following a warm and dry spring with near ideal conditions for bringing grapes to maturity, harvest was remarkably smooth and wineries are at capacity and working with some very high quality wine grapes.

Nat DiBuduo, President of Allied Grape Growers, said the crop estimate in 2013 equals that of 2012. “We believe the wine grape crush could be four million tons again,” he said.

According to DiBuduo, not all regions in the state saw sizeable increases in volume. The bulk of the new acreage coming into production in California is in its interior regions.

“While the coastal regions are probably down in crop size, the interior regions are estimated to be as big as or bigger than in 2012,” DiBuduo said.

Wine grape producers up and down the state are optimistic about the 2013 vintage.

“Monterey growers were blessed with another great vintage," said Charlie Hossom, Director of Viticulture at Delicato Family Vineyards. “It is a bit unusual to have a vintage of this quality following the standout vintage we had in 2012.”

Winemakers in the North Coast are equally optimistic.

Jon Ruel, president of the Napa Valley Grapegrowers said grower reports are mixed in terms of yield, but seem to agree that quality “appears to be excellent” with “Cabernet Sauvignon showing very strong tannins and color early in fermentation leading to some earlier pressing.”

A Paso Robles area winemaker spoke of the 2013 crop in the same terms as the 2012, when he predicted it would be the best vintage in 10 years.

Up and down the state the reports of quality wine grapes are much the same.