California’s 2008 grape crush totaled 3,672,644 tons, down less than 1 percent from the 2007 crush of 3,674,453 tons, according to the Final Grape Crush Report released on March 10, by the National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Sacramento, Calif., field office.

Wine type grapes crushed at 3,061,421 tons were down 6 percent from the previous year.

Red wine varieties accounted for the largest share of all grapes crushed, at 1,715,377 tons, down 9 percent from 2007. The 2008 white wine variety crush totaled 1,346,044 tons, down 2 percent from 2007. Tons crushed of raisin type varieties totaled 494,124, up 36 percent from 2007, and tons crushed of table type varieties totaled 117,099, up 85 percent from 2007.

California grape growers received prices in 2008 for red wine, white wine, raisin, and table grapes that were on average above the 2007 prices. The 2008 average price of all varieties was $547.30, up 5 percent from 2007.

Average prices for the 2008 crop by type were as follows: red wine grapes, $648.05, up 3 percent from 2007; white wine grapes, $539.93, up 12 percent from 2007; raisin grapes, $224.02; up 44 percent; and table grapes, $189.27, up 37 percent. These price levels have not been adjusted for inflation.

In 2008, Chardonnay accounted for the largest percentage of the total crush volume with 15.4 percent. Thompson Seedless accounted for the second leading percentage of crush with 11.8 percent of the total crush. The next eight highest percentages of grapes crushed were all wine varieties.

District 13 (Madera, Fresno, Alpine, Mono, Inyo Counties; and Kings and Tulare counties north of Nevada Avenue (Avenue 192)), had the largest share of the state’s crush at 1,473,501 tons. The average price per ton in Dist. 13 was $251.38.

Grapes produced in Dist. 4 (Napa County) received the highest average price of $3,419.66 per ton, up 5 percent from 2007. District 3 (Sonoma and Marin counties) received the second highest return of $2,237.75, up 8 percent from 2007. The 2008 Chardonnay price of $816.54 was up 14 percent from 2007, and the Cabernet Sauvignon price of $1,111.93 was up 12 percent from 2007. The 2008 average price for Zinfandel was $462.64, down 1 percent from 2007, while the Merlot average price was up 10 percent from 2007 at $648.79 per ton.

The entire Grape Crush Report is available online at www.nass.usda.gov/ca.