Vineyard development levels off on North Coast

Bill Swindell,THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Ending five straight years of expansion, new vineyard development leveled off on the North Coast in 2014 as growers turned their attention to replanting existing vineyards.
Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed there were 132,004 acres of vineyards in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties in 2014, a decline of 0.5 percent from 2013’s record-setting 132,697 acres.
More than 3,000 acres were not producing grapes — the most in three years. The vast majority of these vineyards are being replanted and are not yet mature enough to bear fruit. The flurry of replanting is the result of three consecutive bountiful crops, topped by last year’s record $1.46 billion harvest, which have given North Coast growers the financial resources to reinvest in their vineyards.
“There’s a lot of replanting of vineyards going on,” said Sonoma County Agriculture Commissioner Tony Linegar. “This has happened over the last several years.”
Sonoma County had 59,974 acres of vineyards, a 0.4 percent decrease from the 2013 record, according to the USDA. But non-bearing vineyards increased 13 percent, to 1,014 acres.
Read more via Vineyard expansion levels off on North Coast | The Press Democrat.

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