Good Fruit Grower

February 2013

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phone calls, Maloney said. Almost all of the 2010 red wine on the market was allocated by mid-2012. In early 2012, bulk wineries were concerned about a high volume of 2011 Reisling and Pinot Gris in the marketplace that they didn't think would move very quickly, but by the end of the year, there was little left. The 2011 vintage was a difficult one, Maloney said. "But I love the quality and style of the whites that came out of it. I think a lot of people appreciate it." There were not a lot of high-tier red wines from the 2011 vintage to begin with, and anyone who had not signed up going into the 2011 harvest did not have a good chance of obtaining what they wanted or of getting a good deal. Washington's 2012 crop was estimated to be at least 190,000 tons. Maloney thought initially that the big harvest would mean there would be a lot of bulk wine on the market next year, but customers have signed up for greater volumes. In many cases, they want to ship it out in bulk and bottle it somewhere else. "There's going to be some excess in 2012, but not nearly as much as you might think," he told growers at the caucus, which was held in Pasco and presented by the Washington Association of Wine Grape Growers. Bulk wine availability will vary by variety. Riesling picked out high so will definitely be available, he said, and there might be some Merlot, but supplies of Cabernet Sauvignon are likely to be tight. If the industry had experienced three to five years of normal growth, the 2012 volume might seem high, Maloney said, but the bulk wineries are barely catching up with demand. In 2013, buyers should be able to find both red and white bulk wines in the varieties they want, but not at the bargain prices of a few years ago. Prices for lower-tier red wines, in particular, have increased by 10 to 20 percent over the last couple of years and should stay strong even if the industry enters an era of good supplies in the next couple of years. "The price per ton of this crop is going to demand that the price per gallon is set at a higher level than three or four years ago," he said. Mahoney said many of the growers that Wahluke Wine Company has made offers to for their fruit say they've received higher offers from Gallo. He believes Gallo is willing to lose money for the first few years to establish the brand. "It's making negotiations more difficult, and it's certainly putting growers in a much stronger position," he said. "What we're finding is, whether we're going to talk to a grower about existing grapes or talking to a grower about planting, the terms for the contracts are being pushed higher, price per ton and price per acre." • Helping you tie up the loose ends! GREEN TIE™ •11-1/2" Length •UV Stabilized (Made to last) •Easy Tie & Re-Tie •Economical WIREVISE™ Trellis & Fence Wire Anchor Embossed jaws grip the wire as it is inserted and prevent it from being pulled out. The wire is retensionable with a pair of pliers or a claw hammer. For your nearest dealer, contact AgFast at… Toll-Free: 877.552-4828 909.451.2299 • Fax: 909.593-8309 CONCORD GRAPE GROWERS Milne Fruit Products, Inc. in Prosser, WA the industry leader in fruit juice concentrates and purees is seeking to expand its Concord Grape grower base. Offering long-term, renewable cash contracts for bearing and non-bearing Concord vineyards. Leading Washington by establishing cash prices competitive with east coast prices for the past two seasons. Learn about joining our successful team. Visit us Visit t at t the WAW WGG WAWGG show o es, s , sarm ms races ra s We MA UFACTURE metal stakes, posts, crossarms & braces e MANUFACTURE metal stakes, posts, crossarms br ces MANUF T E MANUFACTURE FACTURE F Your Source f All Vineyard e for y & Orchard T ll g Products h d Trellising d Anchors Crossarms Contact: Andy Schilperoort, Grower Relations Manager, at 509-781-1678 ! LOCAL 509.781.0 98 509.781.0898 9 78 08 8 089 0898 GOOD FRUIT GROWER FEBRUARY 1, 2013 27

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