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Grapes A Top Crop

San Andreas, CA — Wine grapes take one of the top grossing spots on the 2013 Calaveras County Crop Report and set a record for the county. The overall value of agricultural products was down by 2.1 percent from 2012.

“Generally it’s very positive, considering it was the second year of the drought”, says Calaveras County Agricultural Commissioner Kevin Wright. “I thought Agriculture held up reasonably well. There were still strong revenues reported across the board. Overall Calaveras’ Agriculture is surprisingly healthy.”

One product that made significant gains was wine grapes, their prices and production increased dramatically in 2013 bringing in $3,415,000. They came in third behind top grossing cattle at $9,340,000 and second place timber at $6,895,000. Grape growers harvested 2.7 tons per acre in 2013, a jump of 200 tons from 2012, and an extra $600,000.

“It’s really good news,” says Calaveras Winegrape Alliance Executive Director Sara Reed, “Half of our grapes tend to be sold to Napa Wineries. It’s kind of a little known secret. A lot of our grapes are demanding higher prices because of the quality.”

Wright says one unexpected boost was walnuts. “The walnuts going up $600 in the price per ton really helped out. I was surprised by that,” said Wright. He attributes the jump to a growing demand from overseas.

 Click here to view the full crop report.