Surprisingly Low Winegrape Crush Numbers for 2022

Brian German Grapes, Industry, Nuts & Grapes

California winegrape crush numbers for 2022 were recently released, reflecting another year below average. The California Grape Crush Preliminary Report shows that total wine tonnage was 3,350,000 tons at $944 per ton. That number represents the smallest winegrape crop since 2011. President of Allied Grape Growers, Jeff Bitter said the crop size caught the industry off guard.  

Winegrape Crush

“It was a very light crop. Lighter than pretty much anybody in the industry had estimated. Most were thinking it would be anywhere between 3.5 and 3.8 million tons. I was in that boat myself,” Bitter noted. “So, for it to come in at 3.35 million tons was quite surprising.”

The numbers illustrate the third year in a row that winegrape crush numbers were below the average level of four million tons. Some vineyards have been coming out of production in recent years due to attrition and to address oversupply in the market. However, Bitter explained that even with the removals, it would not account for such a low crush number. “A normal yield on the acres that we have in the ground currently would still be four million tons,” said Bitter.


The continued lower-than-average numbers come as a result of adverse weather events. Ongoing drought conditions played a role in keeping crop numbers low, but not to the extent reflected by the report. “I think the frost in April and also that extreme heatwave we had Labor Day week in September really affected the crop more than we had imagined,” Bitter noted.

While the winegrape crush was below average, the overall price per ton for winegrapes followed the decade-long trend of increasing overall. Red winegrape prices increased by 7.1 percent from the year prior, to $1,151 per ton. A modest increase of one percent was reported for white winegrapes, at $682 per ton. However, even with the overall upward trend of winegrape prices, Bitter said the industry is still burdened with challenges. “We’ve experienced more stability on the market side, but the reality is costs are going up faster than grape prices are going up,” Bitter explained.

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Brian German

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Ag News Director, AgNet West