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2011 Calif Chardonnay Down 15% from 2010 - Turrentine

Submitted By: Lewis Perdue, February 12, 2012
North Coast down 11%, Central Coast down 28%, Northern Interior and Southern Interior down 2%

For Immediate Release

NOVATO, CA - February 10, 2012 – The Preliminary California Grape Crush Report released today shows the total crop of winegrapes harvested in 2011 was 3.34 million tons, down 7% from 2010 – and right on the 5 year average. While the crop was average overall, many key varieties posted sharp declines, especially in the Coastal regions.

Key Findings:

“Even though the crop in total was equal to the 5-year average, the key fact is that it was far short of demand. Consumer sales continue to grow, and wineries would have liked to have crushed hundreds of thousands of additional tons.” - Brian Clements, Vice President, Turrentine Brokerage

“Of the major varieties, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, and Syrah all posted sharp declines from 2010. Only two major varieties had larger crops in 2011: Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio, which increased due to recent new plantings and healthy yields in the Central Valley. Pinot Noir was down in the Coastal areas but statewide both Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio had their largest crops ever in 2011. Basically, demand will exceed supply for the near future, keeping prices firm.” - Steve Fredricks, President, Turrentine Brokerage

“The generic varieties in the Central Valley were expected to be larger in 2011, but, in fact, only Rubired increased significantly – up 16%. Ruby Cab, Barbera, Chenin Blanc, and French Colombard all declined. - Erica Moyer, Partner/Broker, Turrentine Brokerage

“The crop of Zinfandel in the Lodi area was down 25% from 2010, caused largely by lower yields, and the continued shift towards red wine. This will keep the market active for 2012 grapes and bulk wine.”- Erica Moyer, Partner/Broker, Turrentine Brokerage

“The Muscat varieties – used for the quickly growing Moscato category - increased only 7%, or the equivalent of only 380,000 cases. Moscato has been posting sales growth of well over 75%. - Steve Fredricks, President, Turrentine Brokerage

“While the crop in the North Coast was down 11%, it could potentially have been much smaller if growers and wineries hadn’t cooperated to harvest grapes early in many cases.” - Brian Clements, Vice President, Turrentine Brokerage

“Overall, Chardonnay, the largest variety, was down a substantial 15% statewide in 2011 compared to 2010, which is a decrease of 15 million gallons or over 6 million cases. Cabernet Sauvignon, the largest red variety, declined 14%, a decrease of 10 million gallons, or over 4 million cases.” - Brian Clements, Vice President, Turrentine Brokerage

"The Central Coast crop was hammered by frost in April of 2011 – which sliced the 2011 crop down 28% from 2010. San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties were hit especially hard – down 35%! To put this in absolute terms, the Central Coast harvested 150,000 fewer tons in 2011 than in 2010.” - Matt Turrentine, Partner/Broker, Turrentine Brokerage

“This average sized crop comes at a time when industry inventories are at record lows. There is increased demand for all the major varieties – most of which experienced lighter crops. Supply will remain short for the foreseeable future, keeping prices strong for grapes and bulk wine. Ultimately, consumer prices will increase as well.” - Steve Fredricks, President, Turrentine Brokerage

About Turrentine Brokerage
Turrentine Brokerage, founded in 1973, serves as trusted and strategic advisors to growers, wineries, and financiers and specializes in the strategic sourcing of wine grapes and bulk wine from the major growing areas across the globe. Working with thousands of wineries worldwide, and with over 2,000 growers, this experienced team has negotiated transactions between buyers and sellers valued at more than $1.5 billion over the past decade.


Brian Clements, Vice President / Partner: (707) 495-8151 – specialty - grapes from all of California, especially Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino & Lake Counties
Steve Fredricks, President / Partner: (415) 847-0603 – specialty - grapes and bulk wine from all of California and around the world

Erica Moyer, Partner/Broker: (209) 988-7334 – specialty – grapes from the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys and the Central Coast

Matt Turrentine, Partner/Broker: (805) 312-1828 – specialty – grapes from the Central Coast.