MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2023. BY STUART SPENCER, LODI WINEGRAPE COMMISSION.
The 2022 Preliminary Grape Crush Report was published on Friday, February 10, 2023. 3.35 million tons of winegrapes were crushed in 2022, down nearly 7 percent compared to 2021 when 3.6 million tons of winegrapes were crushed in California, and around 1.5% less than the total for 2020. The total crush including table and raisin grapes was 3,620,595 tons, down 6.7% from the 2021 crush of 3,880,141 tons.
Crush District 11 (Lodi) crushed 747,390.9 tons in 2022 down 4.7% from 2021, but up 8.5% from 2020. The average price paid for purchased grapes in 2021 was up 6.5% to $661.80 per ton. The tables below detail the tons purchased and the average price paid per ton for Lodi’s leading winegrape varieties. These tables exclude reported winery-owned acreage which produced over 77,000 tons in 2022.
The full report can be found HERE.
The wine and winegrape market continues to be complicated but there are several things for Lodi growers to consider moving forward:
- There are more tons and varieties in Lodi selling at higher prices than ever before. Cabernet Sauvignon, Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, and others are fetching up to $2800/ton, with thousands of tons being sold for well over $1000/ton. This is being driven by smaller wineries and brands within and outside of Lodi producing high-quality Lodi-appellated wines at $20+/bottle. This segment continues to expand quickly and is an opportunity for Lodi growers seeking to diversify their customer base.
- The cost of farming and new vineyard development are rising rapidly. Despite the increase in pricing across Lodi, inflation poses a real challenge. The larger winegrape buyers will need to improve pricing to keep vineyards in the ground or entice new vineyard development. Lower establishment and farming costs for alternative crops should be considered, particularly where virus disease pressure is high.
- The overall wine market is flat to negative, particularly at the lower price points. Coupled with a sluggish economy and persistent inflation, the wine and grape market is proceeding cautiously in 2023. Some brands continue to do very well while others struggle. It’s important for growers to know where their grapes are going and how those brands are performing. The February 2023 edition of Wine Business Monthly published an article on the 50 largest wineries in the US. These 50 wineries control over 90% of domestic wine sales. There are also over 5,000 wineries outside of California, many of which source California grapes, and may be looking for grower partners.
- Sustainable vineyard certifications like LODI RULES are playing a more important role in the winegrape market moving forward. This can be an important point of differentiation or a door opener for growers seeking new buyers. Such certifications add value to the grapes, and research demonstrates that brands can fetch a premium price for sustainably grown wines. Growers should be compensated accordingly. Applications for the 2023 LODI RULES certification year are due February 15, 2023. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Growing winegrapes is a complicated business, but we are confident that Lodi continues to offer exceptional quality winegrapes across an incredible diversity of varieties. The Lodi Winegrape Commission is always here to help Lodi growers and connect any wineries seeking high-quality winegrapes.
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