California Expects Lighter Grape Harvest This Year

California expects a smaller harvest of wine grapes this year, according to Harpers Wine & Spirits Trade News. Although the harvest is still in early stages, it appears the yield from some varieties will be down by one third.

“Chardonnay and Viognier are actually up slightly,” said Allied Grape Growers. Red wine grape numbers are less promising, while pinot grigio is the most affected variety. “It’s very early days, but I would say it’s off to a bad start,” said Daniel Murphy, managing director of Murphy Wine Company. “Last year was a big crop at 4 million tonnes—it would be a big problem if it came in at 3.5 million.”

Although many are pointing fingers at this year’s drought, Napa Valley Vitners’ Patsy McGaughey doesn’t believe it affected the harvest at much as some say. Although the winter of 2013-2014 was one of the most dire on record, the state received a good amount of rainfall in the spring. 

Fingers crossed this year’s lighter crop is just a part of a cycle following last year’s bountiful bumper crop. [Harpers Wine & Spirits Trade News] [Photo: Flickr/Anders Ljunberg]