Recap of the 2019 Grape Season

Discussion in 'Wine Making from Grapes' started by Johnd, Dec 2, 2019.

Wine Making Forum

Help Support Winemaking Talk by donating:

  1. Dec 2, 2019 #1

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    5,628
    Likes Received:
    5,117
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    I receive a newsletter periodically from my grape supplier in CA, this is the most recent, and includes a recap of the growing season conditions, pricing, and indications of future pricing in the market. Of course, this is just their take on the grape market, but felt it was worth sharing.

    [​IMG]


    Website Our History Available Varieties Shipping Information Contact



    [​IMG]


    December 2019


    Dear John,


    We hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! It is always a pleasant task to write a newsletter this time of year. This year is no exception. Even though there has been turmoil in the grape industry here in California and our dollar sales fell 3 percent, our volume of shipped product actually increased. This divergent result reflects the reduction in most prices for grapes in the 2019 season and also happily the increase of demand from most of our customers, both in distributors and winery customers. With the lower price of grapes, wineries increased their purchases and we successfully added new distributors in Vancouver, B.C. and Texas. A list of our current distributors can be found HERE. Thanks to everyone for your support.


    [​IMG]


    NEW GROWERS & VARIETIES


    This year we increased our list of sources, varieties and locations for 2019 harvest.


    The last few years we have specifically shipped Olmo Clone 4 Chardonnay very successfully. The initial vineyard was no longer available to ship during the 2019 season. We looked for this specific Chardonnay clone and found another reliable source for this wonderful Chardonnay clone.


    [​IMG]

    Olmo Clone 4 - Lodi Bins 8/23/19

    [​IMG]

    Olmo Clone 4 - Lodi 36 lb. lugs 8/23/19

    We have secured new sources for Sangiovese. One of these sources is a winery who raises Sangiovese in Amador County and has won gold medals with their Sangiovese wine. We have also bought some clone 2 Sangiovese that is located in the Clements foothills. Good Sangiovese is one varietal that still has relativity strong demand.


    We also shipped some Teroldego for the first time. Teroldego is a dark skinned variety which produces pigmented wines with an intensely fruity character. It is grown almost nowhere in the world outside the Trentino-Alto Adige area in Northern Italy. We found a small planting here in California and are interested on hearing about the resulting wine.


    This year we actually found an old vine (head-pruned) Petit Sirah vineyard located in the Victor area, east of Lodi that had outstanding taste and flavor. Initial response has been very promising. We hope to maintain our relationship with this grower in the future.


    [​IMG]

    Teroldego - Lodi 9/24/19

    [​IMG]

    Head-pruned, old vine Petit Sirah - Lodi 10/8/19

    Last year we picked 3 tons of Cabernet Sauvignon from the Wolfskill Vineyard located in Suisun Valley. This year we nearly shipped 20 tons. This vineyard is located on a hillside within 200 yards of Napa County. Excellent reports are starting to come in about the wine this vineyard has produced.

    [​IMG]

    Wolfskill Cabernet Sauvignon Vineyard - Suisun Valley 10/17/19


    [​IMG]
    Patience Pays Off






    Most varieties matured later than the last several years. The cool wet spring, coupled with a mild summer, made for a later maturing crop. Most varieties also had heavier than average crops especially Zinfandels and Merlot. Luckily we had anticipated the later maturity and some growers limited their irrigation programs. This also caused some smaller berry size and a little weakness in bunch firmness but it meant that early grape buyers had grapes with great flavor and good chemistry both in sugar and PH.


    As the season developed, Mother Nature cooperated nicely but not perfectly. We did have to quit picking several times and in some vineyards we returned many times to get the maturity we wanted. To insure proper maturity we also had taken samples from almost every vineyard and variety before we picked. In almost all instances we were gratified with the development of sugar. PHs remained in the 3.6 range. We will continue this program in the future.






    Weak Market






    We anticipate the price of grapes in California to be weak within the foreseeable future. It has reached a point, however, that the cost of shipping hand harvested grapes, properly cooled and packaged, to be the major factor in the FOB pricing of the grapes. The actual cost of the grapes is currently about 30% to 40% of that pricing. With that in mind, we see pricing generally to be similar to this year with maybe a slight decrease. Grapes from higher end areas may see a greater price reduction.

    Wishing everyone a happy holiday season!


    Thanks, Mike, Ally and Anna



    F. Colavita & Son


    Mike Colavita

    │(209) 601-6307

    mikec1@lightspeed.net

    Ally Colavita │(209) 400-4947 │ ally.colavita@gmail.com

    Anna Solari │anna.col.solari@gmail.com



    www.cawinegrapes.com

    [​IMG]




    Stay Connected


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Forward to a Friend


    Join Our Mailing List


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
    Boatboy24, Ajmassa and stickman like this.
  2. Dec 2, 2019 #2

    Ct Winemaker

    Ct Winemaker

    Ct Winemaker

    Supporting Members WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2018
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    20
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks for posting the newsletter. Very interesting.
     
  3. Dec 2, 2019 #3

    CDrew

    CDrew

    CDrew

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2018
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    503
    Gender:
    Male
    Funny, I think I know the grower of the Teroldego that Colvita describes and may try it next year. The guy I know has really been talking it up to the point I think that if the timing works it's worth making 1/8-1/4 ton worth. He's got 2500 acres of vines and I think has a few acres of this as an experiment. It's quite uncommon here in California, and I'm curious. I know that for 2019 the pre-harvest numbers were perfect looking, but the timing just didn't work out for me. Hopefully 2020 cooperates.

    And Amador Sangiovese is generally excellent, and has really established itself there the last 15 years. Cool to see them call it out. I wish they mentioned the grower.

    Also interesting what they say about pricing. Grapes are 30-40% of the cost and the rest is packaging, chilling and shipping. Not too surprising.

    Thanks for posting this.
     
  4. Dec 2, 2019 #4

    1d10t

    1d10t

    1d10t

    stewbum

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2018
    Messages:
    168
    Likes Received:
    53
    Location:
    sitting on a park bench
    It appears the place here in town is a distributor. I don't know that what I got came from there but I suppose I could ask next year.
     
  5. Dec 2, 2019 #5

    Americanhooch

    Americanhooch

    Americanhooch

    Trying not to screw up too bad

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    10
    Gender:
    Male
    Haven't seen these guys before. Have you been pleased with the quality and delivery/pickup of the grapes?
     
  6. Dec 2, 2019 #6

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    5,628
    Likes Received:
    5,117
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    I buy my grapes directly from Colavita and pay the local folks here for the shipping, you may be able to do the same. If they get any kind of reasonable quantities delivered, the shipping charges aren't too bad when divided up with all of the recipients. I had 42 lugs delivered this year and paid $300 for refrigerated shipping from CA to Louisiana, only $7.15 per lug. Considering that the most expensive grapes were $29 per lug, plus the $7 shipping, my cost delivered here was right at $1 per pound, not too shabby...........
     
    NorCal and Boatboy24 like this.
  7. Dec 2, 2019 #7

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    5,628
    Likes Received:
    5,117
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    This is my third vintage with Colavita, the first was through FineVineWines in TX, which is out of business. The last two vintages I direct ordered from Colavita and had my grapes shipped with the order of a vineyard here in Louisiana. Have always been notified when my shipment left CA, delivered product has always been what I ordered, and pickup from the local vineyard is a snap. The vineyard owner is unloading a refrigerated semi, and just takes my grapes off with his forklift and loads them into my pickup, couldn't be easier.

    As far as the quality, I have been very pleased. The '17 vintage is scheduled to come out of barrel shortly for bottling (Cab/Merlot/Petit Sirah blend), the '18 vintage (100% cab) is still sitting in barrel, and the '19 vintage (Bordeaux style blend) is still in carboys awaiting blending and barrel loading. This year will be my first with the Wolfskill Cabernet, and I have enough to do some single varietal bottling, we'll see how that comes out.

    I'm kinda stoked about the Sangiovese and head trained Petit Sirah, that's on the watch list for next year.

    All in all, considering price, service and quality, I rank Colavita top notch............
     
  8. Dec 2, 2019 #8

    jburtner

    jburtner

    jburtner

    Junior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2016
    Messages:
    514
    Likes Received:
    308
    I’ve been talking to Colavita too and planning an order next fall for what I pay over the year in frozen must. I’ll need to factor in a CD next summer and maybe a VC tank and a bladder press. Can’t seem to keep the cellar full ha!

    Cheers,
    Johann
     
    Johnd and Boatboy24 like this.
  9. Dec 3, 2019 #9

    Ajmassa

    Ajmassa

    Ajmassa

    Just a Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2016
    Messages:
    3,275
    Likes Received:
    2,589
    I’ve spoken with some distributors of Colavita like Collinswood, but never Colavita directly. The distributors are listed but the wineries they supply are not.

    Considering the markup from the distributors, which is extremely high, I wonder if it’s a faux pas to make a purchase direct from Colavita, And then piggyback on the truck of a distributor—not a winery, which would be cutting them, the middle man, out of the equation.
    Keystone HomeBrew (which is a Colavita distributor, a HomeBrew shop, as well as attached to a winery) is less than an hour away from me. I can’t imagine that would be cool though. But to save about $400 it’s worth looking into.
    I’d also imagine the order would need to be substantial enough to warrant the deal.

    * thanks for posting all this info John
     
    Johnd likes this.
  10. Dec 3, 2019 #10

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    5,628
    Likes Received:
    5,117
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    All fun toys!! Go for it!
     
  11. Dec 3, 2019 #11

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Johnd

    Large Member WMT Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    5,628
    Likes Received:
    5,117
    Location:
    S Louisiana
    Call and talk to them, they know who they supply in your area, you may find that they’re supplying other folks too, not just your middle man. Could be that they have a truck passing through you area to a winery further East and can meet your group on the way. Never know until you try, that’s how I discovered they were delivering to a winery in Louisiana and could pick up here vs driving 8 hours to Dallas and 8 hours back and paying a lot more per lug.
     
    Ajmassa likes this.

Share This Page