From the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

Hurt by the recession and less-than-ideal weather for growing, wine-grape gross sales in Monterey County dropped 27 percent in 2010, to the lowest level since 2004.

Growers "will probably want a glass of wine" when they see the figures, said Rhonda Motil executive director of the county Vintners and Growers Association, at a news conference for the county crop report Tuesday.

Gross sales were $173 million, down from $238 million in 2008 and 2009. The harvest in 2010 was 177,000 tons, a drop of 13 percent from the year before. The wine industry is more susceptible than some other industries to recession because wine is a discretionary item, said Paul Johnson of J&L Farms in Salinas.

"We got hit by a double whammy," Johnson said at the news conference. It was particularly cold in spring 2010, Johnson said, which isn't good for the grape crop. "We got hit pretty hard."

For more, see: Wine, grapes experience a down year