Cost of Grapes going up this year?

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by pgentile, Jan 11, 2018.

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  1. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    Sounds like the cost of grapes this year could be going up. The article states that half of Napa was wiped out, I'm pretty sure I read that the damage to vineyards was much much less than that. It also indicates that lower end wines will be more affected price-wise than high end. Other articles I've read say that wine consumption is up worldwide. The two could really put a squeeze on prices.

    Where do grapes fall in quality for the home wine maker? Are we ever getting grapes that are equal quality used in high end wines, even when buying premium grapes? I'm not sure about my local sources.

    https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/f...-what-it-means-for-sas-wilting-wine-industry/
     
  2. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Hope it doesn’t jack up the $ too much. But dude I’m right there with ya in terms of questioning what is available to us. The jersey supplier at least has more options.
    With no actual research done (aside from looking into Pia and Regina which seem to be the low man) I’m assuming the higher the price the better the quality.
    Pintos has fall grapes ranging from $34 -$120 a lug (Wash St.) No napa stuff tho.
    I’ve also been taking a hard look at frozen must. Seems to be the best overall quality that is obtainable.
    To get actual top quality grapes tho doesn’t seem realistic. I know Some guys get em, but they are a LOT closer to Cali and are getting minimum 1 ton with multiple people in on it. And also paying $5-$6K instead of $1,200.
     
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  3. Boatboy24

    Boatboy24 No longer a newbie, but still clueless.

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    I've been hearing this in one form or another since I started making wine from grapes a few years back (I'm sure it goes back further). Every year, there is something that happens and some grab hold of it to create a panic about shortfalls and price jumps. Every year, my grape prices go up very modestly, if at all. Be it fire, drought, earthquakes, growers converting to other crops - every year, its something that writers claim will cause a worldwide catastrophe in grape markets. Every year, it doesn't really seem to happen. While the damage to PARTS of Napa and Sonoma may have been extensive, overall, I think they are OK. And the world outside of Napa and Sonoma will likely not feel any impact whatsoever.
     
  4. Masbustelo

    Masbustelo Junior Member

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    I read somewhere that there is a constant oversupply of grapes in Europe. That some where about half the crop either ends up in low priced vinegar or dumped down the drain. I also read that there is pressure on the producers to take acreage out of production because of the yearly surplus.
     
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  5. JohnT

    JohnT Moderator Super Moderator

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    Wine consumption may be up world wide, but so is grape production.

    As far as price VS quality, all I can say is that there is a TREND that better quality grapes cost more. There have been times that inexpensive grapes impressed me with quality and there were times when paying extra for premium grapes seemed like a waste of money.

    Still, think of it this way, a $45 lug of grapes will produce a $4.50 bottle of wine. It is still a bargain!
     
  6. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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    I wish in the St. Louis, MO area I could get a lug of grapes for that price. I am looking at the price sheet for last season: Lanza/Suisun grapes were $80-100, Lodi grapes were $58-75. Juice buckets were almost as expensive 6 gallon buckets from California were $70-85 and Italian Juice was $90. I don't make any at that price.
     
  7. Boatboy24

    Boatboy24 No longer a newbie, but still clueless.

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    Wow. My Lanza grapes go for $55-65 or so.
     
  8. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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    I know. I wish I had relatives on the East Coast to justify a trip out there. I do have a bonus son and now two grandsons in the Dallas area, so I may see about taking grandma down there this year. Finevinewines is not terribly far from them, but how to time it just right??
     
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  9. ceeaton

    ceeaton Three is the charm, right?

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    There are plenty of us around here who would adopt you into our family. I'd just have to explain how my "long lost brother" from the midwest ended up with the same first name!
     
  10. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Sounds like a ‘mobster strongarm’ type markup relegated to St Louis to me. Half the distance. Double the cost??
    There’s some shiesty old school grape distributors out there with some very greasy palms
     
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  11. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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    Well the only place we can get them (at least that I know about) is through a LHBS that gets them trucked in and charges a premium.
     
  12. cmason1957

    cmason1957 Member Supporting Member

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    I would love the idea of heading out East to meet a few folks, drink some wine, pick up grapes. But I do think I'll lose that battle, if SWMBO knows that we could go to Texas for grapes and grandbabies time.
     
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  13. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    I've been doing the same thing. If the quality and end product are good, I'm probably to give it a try. $300-400 for 5-6 gallons of finished wine though makes me hesitate a bit.
     
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  14. pgentile

    pgentile Supporting Members Supporting Member

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    Yeah I've noticed the articles each year the past several years as well since I've been making wine, just seems to be a little more stress on vineyards this year in many different regions. Starting to think it's getting close to the time to sell everything and move to Canada and establish a vineyard as global warming continues. In another 10-20 years could be producing some nice Canadian temperate climate wines.
     
  15. wxtrendsguy

    wxtrendsguy Member

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    A whole bunch of hooey. Production problems last year due to frosts in Europe and let say smoke damage in parts of CA , OR and WA will have been reflected in prices paid last year. Unless you are buying premium and I mean really premium grapes its likely they are originating in the central valley of CA, Good to high quality Pac NW grapes are in the $2000 a ton range and similar to prices for reds here in the East. Whites are usually less. Central Valley of CA and prices at the vineyard are half that. Wholesale a lug is about $10-$20 paid to the grower and you are not getting his best which is reserved for himself or select clients. Another $10+ for shipping and a buck or two for packaging then double or more the total for retail sale to the consumer. So $50 for Lodi to $75+ is pretty much on par. Want to get cheaper get a whole bunch of you together and do a group buy of 1 or 2 tons...total costs per ton shipped from west coast to East coast will be around $2500 for pretty good WA state and Suisan Valley stuff and less then $2500 from Lodi.
     
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  16. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    There is a distributer in PA that sells select Wash St and Lake County grapes by the 1/4 and 1/2 ton bins. Ranging from $1.33lb to $2.00lb. —so right on par with what you just said. ~$2,600-~$4,000 a ton. —saving about $0.25 /lb. compared to lugs.
    IMG_1515788917.321996.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  17. sour_grapes

    sour_grapes Victim of the Invasion of the Avatar Snatchers

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    Our local winemaking club paid $2,800/ton (delivered to Wisconsin) for Horse Heaven Hills Syrah this year. This was for a 3-ton order, I believe.
     
  18. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    Where do grapes fall in quality for the home wine maker? Are we ever getting grapes that are equal quality used in high end wines, even when buying premium grapes? I'm not sure about my local sources.

    I've always wondered the same thing and probably posted the question on other threads. When we buy grapes or juice we are at least fourth party. I don't think our local sources would intentionally sell inferior products but they probably don't know exactly know what they are getting either. That is why I am trying to develope relationships with local quality vineyards. I figure they are harvesting their grapes for their best possible wines.
     
  19. mainshipfred

    mainshipfred Junior Member Supporting Member

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    I was lucky enough to get local crushed destemmed Norton grapes for $1.50/lb this past fall. Ended up with 176 lbs and the wine is going to be great.
     
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  20. Ajmassa5983

    Ajmassa5983 Member Supporting Member

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    Am I crazy for having absolutely zero interest in local grapes? Norton and Frontenac just doesn’t sound as sexy as Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, Petite Syrah or Zinfandel.
    I’ve never had wine from those grapes and always kinda dismiss them when discussed. Are they sold in standard liquor stores/state stores?
     

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