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North Bay Business Journal

Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 4:12 pm

Napa County winegrape crop value rises 55%, tonnage up 50% in 2012

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    NAPA — The value of the 2012 winegrape crop in Napa County increased nearly 55 percent to $656.2 million from 2011, according to the final official tally released for the record-setting season.

    Winegrape crop value in 2012 was 45.3 percent higher than the previous 10-year average of $451.65 million, according to the annual crop report by the county Agricultural Commissioner’s Office to the Board of Supervisors.

    The 2012 county figures were even more record-sized than suggested by the preliminary and final numbers reported by the California Department of Agriculture in February and March.

    Production of winegrapes in the county increased by 60,987 tons, or 50 percent, last year to 182,859 tons from 43,207 bearing acres, according to the county report. Tonnage was 32 percent higher than the 10-year average of 138,573 tons.

    Average price paid per ton for Napa County winegrapes was $3,589.

    In 2012, the highest average price paid for any Napa County wine grape variety was $5,083 per ton for cabernet franc, which is largely used as blender with cabernet sauvignon. There were 1,126 bearing acres of cabernet franc in 2012.

    Cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and merlotlast year accounted for128,730 tons, ormore than 70 percent, and$503.9 million, oralmost 77 percent, of total winegrape value.

    In 2012, cabernet sauvignon production totaled 71,470 tonsand sold at an average price of $5,060 per ton; chardonnay,31,933 tons at $2,354 a ton;merlot, 25,327 tons at $2,649 a ton.

    Other ag products

    The gross value of all 2012 agricultural production in Napa County was $665.3 million, up 54.5 percent from 2011. All by 1.4 percent of total value was from winegrapes. Most of the increase came from the increase in winegrape production, according to the county.

    Olive production value increased to$664,700, nearly 10 times higher than in 2011. That increase was attributed primarily to “alternate bearing nature of olive trees.” Fewer acres of olive trees — 191 in 2012, compared with 200 in 2011 — produced more olives — 287 tons and 200 tons, respectively.

    Vegetable production increased by $3,700 from the previous year to $228,700 from 21 acres.

    Floral and nursery production increased in value by $770,700 to $3.07 million from 19.5 acres. The value for field crops increased $194,800 to $637,800 from 95,624 acres. Livestock sales decreased $197,100 to $3.71 million.

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