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Wine Grape Harvest Down In 2008

Sacramento, CA — A new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that 3.05 million tons of wine grapes were crushed in California during the last harvest, which is down six percent from the year before.

The decrease is being attributed to unusual weather patterns. Last year’s growing season began with a dry winter followed by extended frosts in April that reduced crop quantity.

Scott Klann, President of the Calaveras Wine Grape Alliance says that the Sierra Foothills unfortunately fared worse than many other areas of the state.

“From what I’m hearing, we were probably down around 40 percent in Calaveras County,” says Klann. “The April frost hit the southern region of the foothills pretty bad.”

Statewide, the Merlot grape harvest was down 26 percent and Cabernet Sauvignon was off 24 percent. Many white grapes like Pinot Grigio saw an increase in harvest numbers.

Written by bjhansen@mlode.com