Rick Aldine, North Coast Grape Manager
Crop estimates remain inconsistent. Some vineyard sites have set a large crop, some sites shattered pretty heavy and crop size is below normal. Many sites are still going through bloom. Generally, the crop potential seems to be at least “normal” sized and on par with 2017.
The grape buying market remains relatively slow with buyers waiting for feedback on potential crop size and price softening. We still have excellent grape opportunities for high-end Cab Sauv (Calistoga, Chiles Vly, Pope Vly, Wooden Vly, Gordon Vly) and Sonoma (Alexander Vly and the hills west of Windsor) as well as smaller Pinot Noir grape lots from Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Potter Valley.
Bulk Buyers… we are moving through our bulk inventory and 2016 Napa Cab Sauv is hot as well as non-Cab North Coast Reds. Calls for organic grapes and bulk wines has picked up. Bulk wine is such a good strategic hedge as part of your sourcing and cost control. Producers should consider custom bulk wine contracts with Agajanian to help blend down the increasing high cost of grapes. We have grape purchase opportunities in all 5 North Coast counties that can also be structured as custom wine contracts.
Interested in long-term grape contracts? Let’s get our boots dirty! Give me a call to get out and look at 2018 grape opportunities OR come by our Napa office to taste through our bulk wine offerings. You can reach me at (707) 252-4800 office, (707) 287-6073 cell, email@example.com. Our Napa office is located across from The Meritage Resort, 2785 Napa Valley Corporate Drive, Napa.
Dan Garcia, Northern Interior Grape Manager
With an unusually cool past month of May in the Interior, we are probably 10 days to two weeks behind and hopefully it will begin to heat up in June and get us caught up a bit in our growing season. It has been a somewhat quiet month in the Interior region with buyers still on the fence and not committing to purchasing grapes until their final numbers come in on crop estimates. It will probably continue until after set, when everyone will feel comfortable with what is really out there as far as crop size. Then we could see some activity again, but at this point it is mainly small lots that I see movement in to smaller wineries.
I still have Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Red Zin, Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, and Syrah available in the Interior. If any of these catch your interest give me a call on my cell at (916)425-6656. We also have some great bulk wines available at Agajanian, so if your interest is on the Bulk side I can also help you with those needs. I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Haddox, Central Coast Grape Manager
Have been busy out in the vineyards. I’m available to talk grapes, bulk wine and anything private
label. Call me anytime at (805) 975-7001 on my cell.
Tim Mendonca, Central & Southern Interior Grower Relations
With May in the books we are now only a couple of month away from harvest. With this pleasant
weather that we have been having, it looks like we are a good week behind of where we were at last year
at this time. We will see when harvest comes around if that statement holds true. We are starting to see
those 100 degree days starting to creep into the forecast. For the week of June 11, I only see two days
that are in the 100’s.
Market activity is still slow. Clients are still trying to figure out what set was like and gauge what the crop
is going to be like. We have seen a little bit of shatter in some Muscat varieties but it isn’t that bad. There
has still been some interest in Rosé varieties along with Rubireds. If you have any grapes or bulk wine for
sale or are interested in any grapes and bulk wine feel free to give me a call at (559) 352-2452 or email:
Patrick Tachella, Director of Viticulture
It’s already mid-June but recent weather would have you questioning the truth of that. With highs and
lows nudging towards records, many would agree this has been a strange spring. The varied
temperatures have had us eyeing Central Valley fruit set. In general things looks good – though shatter
has taken a toll in some Muscat, and Cabernet Sauvignon fields. Berry touch is approaching fast in most
blocks. The last mildew spray is in the foresights.
In the Northern Interior all is looking well – in fact a few varieties set fruit very well and are already at
berry touch. The mildew game has been an easy one for most this year. Thank goodness, because last
year was rough.
Out to North Coast we are seeing widespread bloom starting to wrap up and we are expecting to see a
good fruit set. The early varieties/locations have already set to what could be an “average+” crop.
Vineyards labor is still very hard to find. At the UC Grape Day in Oakville it was obvious the focus on
mechanization in the North Coast is high on the minds growers and equipment manufactures. The
technology is advancing quickly.
Down along the Central Coast things are a bit less defined by varietal and more so by region…. South of
the Cuesta Grade we are seeing slightly lower bunch counts and smaller cluster size. North of the grade in
the greater Paso Robles region, we are facing a very nice sized crop…. it’s not light, but most won’t be out
there dropping clusters. There is significant acreage coming into production from these past few years of
replanting. I suspect this may drive grower’s pricing in the wrong direction.
All signs are indicating the season will be an “average+” year for the state wide crop size. Let’s see how
this summer heat comes on…hopefully we don’t see the crop get cooked on the vine like last year.
That’s all for now folks – I’ve got to get back out in the field!
If you cannot take grapes, we can custom crush and make wine to your style specifications. Please call
your Grower Representative listed below, or our Premium Bulk Wine Sales Manager Jennifer Hibbard
at our North Coast office (707) 252-4800. For Private Label, call Shelly van Rijn at (707) 252-4800.
Rick Aldine-North Coast Winegrape Manager (707) 287-6073
Dan Garcia-Northern Interior Winegrape Manager (916) 425-6656
Michael Haddox-Central Coast Winegrape Manager (805) 975-7001
Tim Mendonca-Central and Southern Interior Grower Relations (559) 352-2452
Patrick Tachella-Director of Viticulture (559) 840-5792