Smaller Grape Harvest Seen For California In 2009

California’s all grape production is forecast at 6.25 million tons, down 4% from a year ago, according to the USDA‘s latest crop report.

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Wine type grapes account for 53% of California’s total production, raisin type grapes account for 34%, while the remaining 13% are table type grapes.

Growers are expecting an average crop this year and the cooler than normal weather has been excellent for berry development. Mildew problems have been reported primarily in the San Joaquin Valley.

Wine type grape production is forecast at 3.30 million tons, up 8% from the 2008 crop. In general, bunch counts in the San Joaquin Valley are up from 2008. The most significant increases were seen in the red varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Rubired, Ruby Cabernet, and Syrah.

Raisin type grape production is forecast at 2.10 million tons, down 16% from last year. Bunch counts of Thompson Seedless grapes in the Central and South San Joaquin Valley are down 25% from last year. Raisin type grapes were being harvested in the Coachella Valley.