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Grape Shortage Presses California Wine Industry

Grape Shortage Presses California Wine Industry

Pricey grapes put squeeze on West Coast wineries

California winemakers are starting to know what it feels like to be a grape, as a shortage of the fruit is putting a squeeze on the area’s wine industry.

According to the Wall Street Journal, California grape prices were in decline for a decade after expansion in the 90s flooded the market. Cabernet red grapes have doubled in cost in the past year.

"Right now, I don't have enough grapes of any variety in any part of the state,'' Nat DiBuduo, president of Allied Grape Growers, said to the WSJ. DiBuduo says the prices for Thompson seedless red grapes have about quadrupled since 2001.

Grape vines obviously take time to grow, so any correction can’t happen quickly. For wine drinkers, the end result is that we might all be drinking more imported wine for a while. Imported wines hold a 30-percent share of the U.S. market, with most of those coming from Italy and Australia.

Bulk wine buyer Don Sebastiani & Sons, which has a bottling facility in Napa, said currently grapes from outside California account for less than 10 percent of its grapes, but to keep its sticker prices low, half the grapes might be from Chile in 2013. Its best-selling wines are below $8.

CEO Donny Sebastiani said he’s more comfortable keeping the price point where it is and changing the grape source than keeping the California grapes and raising prices.


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."


Drought Emergency for Northern California Wineries

Northern California has not had a drop of rain for 35 days.

On Wednesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency for Sonoma and Mendocino Counties, delivering his press conference from the dry lakebed of Lake Mendocino.

"I'm standing currently 40 feet underwater, or should be standing 40 feet underwater," Newsom said.

But Newsom, who is facing a possible recall election because of anger about his executive orders during the pandemic, stopped short of declaring a statewide drought emergency, which might trigger restrictions on watering lawns and washing cars. Drought conditions are also very bad near the Oregon border, and most of the state is in water deficit right now.

There are not, at present, any requirements for less water use from farmers in Sonoma and Mendocino, but the state hasn't ruled it out.

"In previous droughts, voluntary water conservation actions, combined with targeted conservation requirements, were used to protect fisheries in four tributaries to the Russian River and help manage water supplies," Jackie Carpenter, director of media relations for the State Water Resources Control Board, told Wine-Searcher.

"This year, reservoir storage is notably lower than what was observed during the peak of the last drought. Folks are working hard to come up with a locally driven and designed approach that forestalls the need for state regulatory actions like curtailments of water rights. We are supportive of those local approaches, and are working collaboratively to assist where we can. If those efforts aren't successful, however, we may need to consider curtailment notices or other regulatory actions."

Sonoma County has 59,000 acres of wine grapes, more than any county in the state but hot San Joaquin County, where supermarket wines come from. In comparison, Napa County has 45,000 acres of grapes. Mendocino County, due north of Sonoma, has 17,000 acres of grapes. Both counties also have significant cannabis industries as well as other farming.

"The situation on the Russian River is very acute and there will need to some reductions in diversions and modifications to reservoir releases in order to ensure adequate water supplies for critical purposes," Lisa Lien-Mager, California Natural Resources Agency deputy secretary for communications, told Wine-Searcher. "The state is hoping there will be cooperative, voluntary efforts among landowners, especially vineyards and wineries, to greatly reduce water use, as we saw in 2015 during the last drought."