The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

February 22, 2014

Howard Hewitt: Drought to raw materials affect future wine prices

News from the world’s wine regions can affect even the average wine drinker. There is a lot going on, particularly in California, which can affect future wine prices.

The biggest news and fear from the west coast is the on-going drought. The 2013 harvest was huge but vineyard owners and managers are concerned about the future.

Northern California had a heavy five days of rain recently but it was not nearly enough to offset dry conditions. The extended rainfall certainly brought about some sighs of relief but long-term weather predictions call for dryer than normal conditions until at least early summer.

Anyone in the Midwest knows what happens with agriculture when things dry up. There are smaller crops and less quality product. That is doubly true with fruit, or in this case grapes. No one is predicting a catastrophic 2014, particularly on the heels of a strong 2013 crop, but it bears following.

Each year the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service provides a harvest report and it’s always interesting reading. California’s 2013 crop was up six percent over the previous year. That means more than four million tons of wine grapes were harvested.

What’s the top grape in California? Well, most people would probably guess its Cabernet Sauvignon but actually there is more Chardonnay being harvested each year. Chardonnay accounts for 16 percent of the harvest to Cabernet’s 11 percent. Zinfandel comes in at 10 percent of harvest followed by Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Pinot Gris.

And to understand wine prices, or the price of any consumer good, you have to have an appreciation for raw material costs. Everyone learned that in basic Economics, right? California is best known for its big, expensive Cabernet wines. Well, the average price for a ton of grapes in California was $706.29 a ton. But if you have Cabernet on those acres the average cost is $5,500 per ton.

Text Only
Community
  • FEA - HB0724 - Amputee Support - JC 3 Supporting limb loss awareness

    A small group of amputees gathered for the Second Annual Show Your Mettle Day at Frazier’s Dairy Maid on Friday. The event, which offered free ice cream to amputees thanks to Prevail Prosthetics and Orthotics, served as a meet and greet to help support limb loss awareness in the community.

    July 24, 2014 3 Photos

  • Jim Bailey: Now if Grace beats Bethel... Fans in the United States are just now waking up to the complexities of World Cup soccer, which is a lot more popular around the world than it is here.

    July 24, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 24 A compilation of community news items as published in the Thursday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS - HB0723 - Fair Food - JC 3 The 'fairest food of all' Rides along the midway and 4-H animals may be a big draw for the county fair, but there's plenty of food people look forward to and indulge in during the Madison County 4-H Fair.

    July 23, 2014 3 Photos

  • Community Briefs: July 23 A compilation of community news items as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 23, 2014

  • FEA - HB0722 - SAVI - 1 Staying strong during adversity

    When doctors told Judy Best she had cancer she was shocked, but she never lost hope.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Community Briefs: July 22 A compilation of community news as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 22, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 21

    A compilation of community news as published in the Monday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 21, 2014

  • FEA - HB0721 - Rotary Exchange - JC 1 Foreign exchange program builds lasting friendships Paulina Berger returned to her hometown in Olpe, Germany on Friday, but she left something important behind: part of her heart. The 16-year-old spent a year living with three host families in Anderson as part of the Rotary Youth Exchange program.

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • FEA HB0721 ISU Normal Hall Work underway to restore ISU's Normal Hall The sounds of heavy equipment, impact drills and even a large wrecking ball are evidence of a renovation underway at Normal Hall, Indiana State University's oldest academic building.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin