Washington's wine grape production down 11% year-over-year to 142,000 tons in 2011, USDA says; output of red varieties down 20%; white varieties account for 55% of output compared with 50% a year ago

OLYMPIA, Washington , February 23, 2012 (press release) – Washington’s 2011 wine grape production totaled 142,000 tons, down 11 percent from 2010. Production of red varieties was down 20 percent from last year compared to a 2 percent decrease in the production of white varieties. Of the top four varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon showed the largest decrease of 28 percent from 2010. Growers received an average of $987 per ton for all varieties in 2011, down $53 from last year. Of all the major varieties, Grenache received the highest average price per ton at $1,606.

Due to the reduced output of red varieties in 2011, production of white varieties accounted for a larger percentage of the total. Production of white varieties was 55 percent of the total compared to 50 percent during 2010. White Riesling was the top producing variety grown in the State at 31,700 tons or 22 percent of the total. Chardonnay ranked second, at 28,500 tons or 20 percent of the total. In third place was Cabernet Sauvignon with 23,100 tons or 16 percent of the total. Merlot ranked fourth with 21,900 tons or 15 percent of the total. The average White Riesling price per ton decreased $5 from last year to $784 and the average Chardonnay price was down $96 from 2010 to $803. Growers received an average of $1,312 for Cabernet Sauvignon, $15 more than 2010. The average Merlot price per ton decreased $43 from last year to $1,117.

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