Is California Facing A Grape Shortage?

California’s grapegrowers finally have something to cheer about: grape prices are going up. After nearly three years of sluggish sales and an oversupply of wine, vintners have cleared their cellars of older vintages and are looking to increase their grape purchases. But two small harvests and an absence of new plantings mean they are competing for a smaller amount of fruit. That demand is pushing up grape prices and bulk wine prices. “If you’re buying wine on the bulk market, or you’re a négociant, your costs are going to go up,” said Adam Lee of Siduri and Novy Family wines.

On average, the price of all California grape types rose in 2011. The average cost of red grapes increased 12% per ton while white grapes jumped by 8% compared to 2010, according to a preliminary report on the 2011 grape crush by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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