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Napa County breaks records for agricultural production value in 2016


California's Napa County broke agricultural production value records in fiscal 2016, with a total reported production value of more than $737 million, $729.5 of which was generated by the production of wine grapes.

Total value of agricultural production in Napa County increased 33 percent from 2015, breaking previous records set in 2014 in terms of both grape production and total production. The success of the season is attributed to good weather in 2016, which provided enough rain to ensure strong crop yields.

The amount of grape tonnage produced by growers in Napa County grew by nearly a quarter (23 percent) year-over-year in 2016, to just over 153,000 tons. The number of tons produced per acre of land grew to 3.39, representing strong growth for the more than 43,000 acres of vineyards in Napa County.

Of the types of grapes produced in 2016, Cabernet Sauvignon made up the highest percentage, accounting for 20,342 production acres and yielding nearly 67,000 tons of grapes. Chardonnay grapes were grown on about 6400 acres and produced 25,922 tons. Farmers produced 14,916 tons of Merlot grapes from about 4700 acres of land.

According to Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark, the average price paid to grape growers in 2016 was $4,767 per ton, a figure calculated from the combined prices of all grape varieties. The most valuable variety was Cabernet Franc, which commanded a price of $7,144 per ton.

In a phone call with the Napa Valley Register, president of Napa Valley Grapegrowers Garrett Buckland said that the record-breaking year was important for all farmers in Napa County, not just grape growers.

“This tells us we can keep Napa County in agriculture [production], with values this high,” said Buckland.

Beyond grapes, overall production of vegetable crops in Napa County dropped to 26 acres in 2016, down from 32 acres in 2015. Production of olives increased from 280 to 289 tons year-over-year. Combined production value of fruits and nuts other than grapes and olives increased from $272,300 to $384,900.

Nathan Munn | Global Wine & Spirits

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