Drought Conditions Threaten France, Italy, & Spain Harvests
Following April frosts and storms, France, Italy and Spain harvests are further threatened by drought conditions and water restrictions. South Africa is an attractive alternative, increasing exports to some Eastern European countries by nearly 50%. Because of this, South African bulk Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot availability is tight.
Healthy California Crops due to Heat and Above Average Winter Rainfall
California harvest is expected to reach 4.2 million tons (up from 4 and 3.7 tons the past two years). High expectations for 2017 Cabernet yields have driven new online availability and softened the market slightly. Chardonnay crops are down—new plantings over the next couple of years are expected to attempt to meet the growing demand.
Grape Broker Pre-Harvest Updates
Central Coast—Santa Maria Valley and Los Alamos Pinot Noir crops expected be to below average while Central Coast Grenache is expected to have the largest yield this year.
San Joaquin & Sacramento Valleys—Estimates put grape crops as similar to last year, with the exception of a light Chardonnay crop.
North Coast—Crop estimates look similar to 2016, with Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon cluster counts looking slightly better