[caption id="attachment_81446" align="alignnone" width="450"] Workers empty tubs of cabernet sauvignon grapes picked before dawn at Trefethen Family Vineyards' Hillspring Vineyard in Napa Valley's Oak Knoll district on Oct. 9.[/caption]

The size and value of the winegrape crop in the North Coast reached new records, crushing even the record-scale 2012 crop, according to the first release of the state's tally of the harvest released Monday.North Coast crop by the numbersTonnagePrice per tonValue

Overall, the North Coast had about a 1 percent increase in tonnage to 562,000 tons, equating to more than 400,000 more cases of wine, based on 165--170 gallons of wine per ton of grapes, according to preliminary figures from the California Grape Crush Report from the National Agricultural Statistics Service and California Department of Agriculture.

"That gives wineries more cases to sell in markets that are growing," said Brian Clements, senior partner and winegrape broker for Novato-based Turrentine Brokerage. "We have them when we need them. Mother Nature often gives us crops when we do not need them."

A 15,000-ton increase from Lake and Mendocino counties and a slight uptick from Sonoma County last year offset a 5.5 percent drop -- 10,000 tons -- in Napa County tonnage (see the table of North Coast tonnage below). Sonoma County last year reached 268,000 tons, led by a 7.0 percent increase to 87,000 tons for its chief variety, chardonnay.

Napa County tonnage of nearly 173,000 last year was dampened by a significant drop in production -- down 8.1 percent, or nearly 5,800 tons, to nearly 66,000 tons  -- for the chief county variety, cabernet sauvignon. Sonoma County also had a drop cab tonnage of 7.1 percent, or nearly 4,700 tons, to almost 44,000 tons. That was despite new plantings of cab in Lake and Mendocino counties, which had tonnage growth of about 17 percent last year, or 3,400 more tons.

Such plantings helped cab uproot pinot noir as Mendocino County's second-largest winegrape variety, up 1,400 tons from 2012 to nearly 10,000 tons last year, according to the Mendocino WineGrowers trade group.

The outcome was the equivalent reduction in higher-end North Coast cab of about 400,000 cases in wine, coming when sales of finer cab are growing rapidly nationwide.

"We were a little surprised to see a big drop in merlot and cab in Sonoma," said Greg Livengood, president of San Rafael-based wine and grape brokerage Ciatti Co. "Pinot noir was good in Sonoma -- up a couple of percent. Chardonnay was big, but it may be a little bit long [in bulk-wine supply] in Sonoma.

Though the weighted-average price of Napa County grapes increased 3.6 percent over the year to $3,608 a ton (see the table of North Coast prices below), the drop in tonnage led to a 2.0 percent drop in the value to $624.1 million (see the table on winegrape crop values below).

Beyond Napa County, North Coast grape prices rose overall. The county average rose 3.5 percent for Sonoma County to $2,221 a ton in Sonoma County, 0.9 percent to $1,419 in Mendocino County and 2.0 percent to $1,412 in Lake County.

The North Coast appellation also includes premium-quality vineyards in western Solano County, but estimates of tonnage and pricing for those subappellations are challenging to distinguish in state figures from sales and pricing of grapes grown in the eastern areas of the county and bound for high-volume, lower-priced wines from the Central Valley.

Including all Solano tonnage would boost the 2013 North Coast crush to 583,000 tons in 2013, up about 1 percent from 577,000 tons in 2012.

The winegrape crop statewide increased 5.3 percent last year in tonnage to 4.23 million tons, topping the previous record of 4.02 million tons of 2012.

"Everyone expected it to be equal to or slightly larger than 2012," Mr. Livengood said.

That gives the state more than 14 million more gallons of wine from the 2013 crush.

"I think this continues to show that 4 million tons of winegrapes is the new floor in California," Mr. Clements said.

The value of the winegrapes statewinde was $3.17 billion, up 1.2 percent based a weighted-average price of $749 a ton. That price was down 3.8 percent from 2012.

Final figures from the 2013 crush are set for release March 10.North Coast winegrape tonnage VarietyRegionprelim. 2013equiv. chg. in caseschg.chg.2012ChardonnayMendocino28,184256,8573,73615.3%24,448 Lake2,29238,89256632.8%1,726 Sonoma87,344394,6805,7417.0%81,603 Napa30,776-80,341-1,169-3.7%31,945 North Coast*148,596610,0888,8746.4%139,722Pinot Gris/Mendocino5782,214325.9%546Pinot GrigioLake63711,15816234.2%475 Sonoma2,7714,840702.6%2,701 Napa669-22,550-328-32.9%997 North Coast*4,656-4,338-63-1.3%4,719Sauv. BlancMendocino4,23567,61698430.2%3,252 Lake12,894295,7494,30250.1%8,592 Sonoma19,320148,3282,15812.6%17,162 Napa17,974217,8413,16921.4%14,806 North Coast*54,423729,53410,61124.2%43,812Cab. Sauv.Mendocino9,66897,5361,41917.2%8,249 Lake14,039140,7242,04717.1%11,992 Sonoma43,730-238,205-3,465-7.3%47,194 Napa65,757-396,014-5,760-8.1%71,517 North Coast*133,193-395,959-5,759-4.1%138,953MerlotMendocino7,72145,0116559.3%7,066 Lake2,08333,57848830.6%1,595 Sonoma18,662-203,892-2,966-13.7%21,628 Napa20,843-309,602-4,503-17.8%25,346 North Coast*49,309-434,906-6,326-11.4%55,635Pinot NoirMendocino8,7274,758690.8%8,657 Lake252-543-8-3.0%260 Sonoma54,14292,0911,3402.5%52,802 Napa11,390-48,015-698-5.8%12,089 North Coast*74,51148,2907021.0%73,808SyrahMendocino2,7218,2021194.6%2,602 Lake1,185-4,881-71-5.7%1,256 Sonoma4,770-33,921-493-9.4%5,264 Napa2,758-16,053-234-7.8%2,992 North Coast*11,435-46,654-679-5.6%12,114ZinfandelMendocino6,913-85,126-1,238-15.2%8,151 Lake2,999-16,486-240-7.4%3,239 Sonoma19,995-83,112-1,209-5.7%21,204 Napa5,275-8,965-130-2.4%5,405 North Coast*35,182-193,689-2,817-7.4%37,999TotalMendocino77,709454,6996,6149.3%71,095 Lake43,210576,6068,38724.1%34,823 Sonoma268,14070,5441,0260.4%267,114 Napa172,973-687,926-10,006-5.5%182,979 North Coast*562,031413,9236,0211.1%556,011 Statewide4,230,56714,597,667212,3305.3%4,018,237Source: California Grape Crush Report, table 2. Note: 165 gallons of wine per ton, 2.4 gallons of wine per 9-liter case. *North Coast also includes part of Solano County, not included in this summation.Five-year average tonnage RegionTonsMendocino County66,330Lake County35,159Sonoma County221,309Napa County151,857California3,777,555Source: California Grape Crush Report, table 2, 2008--2013.North Coast winegrape prices per ton VarietyRegionprelim. 2013chg.chg.2012ChardonnayMendocino$1,292$231.9%$1,269 Lake$1,213-$50-3.9%$1,263 Sonoma$1,920$412.2%$1,879 Napa$2,374$1145.1%$2,260Pinot GrigioMendocino$1,400$10.1%$1,399 Lake$600-$300-33.3%$900 Sonoma$1,647$221.3%$1,625 Napa$1,670-$227-12.0%$1,897Sauv. BlancMendocino$1,174-$11-0.9%$1,184 Lake$1,057$595.9%$998 Sonoma$1,476$574.0%$1,419 Napa$1,884$442.4%$1,841Cab. Sauv.Mendocino$1,682$855.3%$1,597 Lake$1,713$1016.3%$1,612 Sonoma$2,469$2179.6%$2,252 Napa$5,423$4218.4%$5,001MerlotMendocino$1,212$403.4%$1,172 Lake$1,237$534.4%$1,184 Sonoma$1,605$1369.2%$1,469 Napa$2,715$1596.2%$2,557Pinot NoirMendocino$2,502-$70-2.7%$2,572 Lake$1,275-$138-9.8%$1,414 Sonoma$3,095$1093.7%$2,985 Napa$2,414-$24-1.0%$2,438SyrahMendocino$1,281$120.9%$1,270 Lake$1,357-$27-1.9%$1,384 Sonoma$2,299$1828.6%$2,117 Napa$3,060$341.1%$3,026ZinfandelMendocino$1,453$161.1%$1,437 Lake$1,466-$68-4.4%$1,534 Sonoma$2,514$1195.0%$2,394 Napa$3,155$1264.2%$3,029TotalsMendocino$1,419$130.9%$1,406 Lake$1,412$272.0%$1,385 Sonoma$2,221$743.5%$2,147 Napa$3,608$1273.6%$3,482 Statewide$749-$30-3.8%$779Source: California Grape Crush Report, table 10.North Coast winegrape revenue Regionprelim. 2013chg.chg.2012Mendocino$110,255,435$10,315,91210.3%$99,939,523Lake$61,004,169$12,789,07826.5%$48,215,091Sonoma$595,568,435$22,069,5503.8%$573,498,886Napa$624,140,492-$12,929,477-2.0%$637,069,969North Coast*$1,390,968,531$32,245,0632.4%$1,358,723,468Statewide$3,168,948,442$38,701,4811.2%$3,130,246,961Source: California Grape Crush Report, tables 2 and 10. *North Coast also includes part of Solano County, not included in this summation.