Wine grape supply shrinking statewide

September 20, 2011

 California wine grape growers will be facing a significant tightening of the supply of their product over the next several years because of two factors, the sluggish economy and unusually cool weather, according to industry professionals. [SacramentoBee]

Robert Smiley, dean and professor emeritus at the University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management, will discuss his findings Tuesday at the 20th annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa.

“Even though we have technically been out of the recession for two years, growers have been reluctant to expand their plantings or replace older vineyards that are moving into declining production,” Smiley told the Sacramento Bee.

Even so, industry professionals expect that high-quality wines will continue to be discounted and widely available.

“Most of the (wine) executives seem to feel that discounting is here to stay,” Smiley told reporters.



  1. Harumph says:

    Too bad. This area may have to go back to hay / dry land farming. Oh, and there’s a hay shortage too.

    Too Bad.

    (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down
  2. Typoqueen says:

    Ca. grows the best grapes in the country. I want and need to go tasting, it’s good for the palette and relaxing for the mind. The vineyards bring money to the county, I hope they stay around.

    (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
    • Cindy says:

      “Ca. grows the best grapes in the country”

      The county grows the best grapes in CA? ;)
      I don’t know, Sonoma County is a fierce contender in my opinion and I think they have been at it much longer? Either way, the vineyards are primarily on drip systems and it appears that the wineries use far less water than what many suggest. I like the wineries and I think they add more value than cost to the taxpayers, notwithstanding the water shortage.

      (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  3. justme says:

    Good news indeed! Yank those stupid vines and grow food.

    (0) 4 Total Votes - 2 up - 2 down
  4. r0y says:

    “Even though we have technically been out of the recession for two years…” – I think Mr. Smiley, as his name might imply, is being optimistic at best.

    I’m not knowledgeable about grapes and wines, but I would be willing to bet there are cheaper imported varietals that are more abundant which lower the demand for local grapes? Interesting that is not mentioned. Maybe the SacBee’s article isn’t meant to be investigative.

    (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
    • Cindy says:

      A connoisseur you’re not. Fine wine is all about the grapes. Where they are grown, what is planted next to them, when they’re picked and how they are handled from the vineyard to the winery/processor. There simply are no imports that can replace California grapes or California wine. There are certainly wines that can rival CA home grown vintages but they can never be replaced. I don’t know anything about wine either but just ask any snob!

      P.S. “snob” is used here in the appreciative sense of the term :)

      (3) 5 Total Votes - 4 up - 1 down
      • r0y says:

        I understand, but I thought I remember seeing/reading something about Chilean grapes and Australian grapes, etc. Maybe a true oenophile will step up and educate us (not too much, please).

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down

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