California’s 2018 grape acreage totaled 925,000 acres. Of the total grape acreage, 863,000 were bearing while 62,000 were non-bearing. The wine-type grape acreage is estimated at 637,000 acres. Of the total acres, 590,000 were bearing and 47,000 were non-bearing. Table-type grape acreage totaled 132,000 acres with 121,000 bearing and 11,000 non-bearing. Acreage of raisin-type grapes totaled 156,000 acres, of which 152,000 were bearing and 4,000 were non-bearing.
The leading wine-type varieties continued to be Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Flame Seedless was the leading table-type grape variety. Thompson Seedless continued to be the leading raisin-type variety and was utilized for raisins, fresh market, concentrate, and wine.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture partners with the Pacific Regional Office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) to conduct an annual acreage survey of California grape growers. The purpose of this survey is to provide annual grape acreage with information on new plantings and removals. It is a continuation of a long series of industry- funded grape acreage surveys.
This report consists of two parts:
Estimated grape acreage — bearing, non-bearing, and total.
Detailed data by variety, and year planted — as voluntarily reported by grape growers and maintained in our database.
With perfect information, the estimated grape acreage and the detailed data would be the same. However, this will never be the case for the following reasons:
A voluntary survey of approximately 8,300 grape growers is unlikely to attain 100 percent completeness.
It is difficult to detect growers who are planting grapes for the first time.
The detailed data reflects vine removals from over 17,000 acres during the past twelve months. Of this number, significant acreage was harvested in 2018 prior to being pulled out. As a result, harvested acreage removed in 2018 is included in the estimated acreage, but excluded from the detailed data.
The major source of the grape detailed data was a questionnaire mailed to all grape growers from our database. The mailing was sent in late October 2018 to approximately 8,300 grape growers. The questionnaire contained previously reported crop, variety, and acreage information preprinted. Producers were asked to update the information with new plantings, removals, and any other corrections; new growers were mailed a blank questionnaire. Growers were given six weeks to respond by mail. A telephone follow-up was then undertaken. Field personnel personally visited large growers who did not respond by mail.
To arrive at the estimated grape acreage, the grape acreage data base was compared with data provided from the 2017 Census of Agriculture and the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
We sincerely thank the many farm operators, owners, and management firms providing the information. Funding was provided by an assessment on wine grapes plus funding from the California Table Grape Commission and the Raisin Administrative Committee.