Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
08.18.2014  
 

Pinot Noir Still King in Oregon

Red varietal brought highest average price per ton of $2,655 in 2013

 
by Peter Mitham
 
 
“oregon
 
Source: USDA-NASS (1992-2011); Southern Oregon University (2011-present)
Eugene, Ore.—The rebound in pricing for Oregon grapes during the past four years suggests that growers will see stable or slightly higher prices this season.

Preliminary results from the 2013 Oregon Vineyard and Wine Production Census indicate that statewide, growers received an average of $2,252 per ton in 2013, down 3% from 2012.

Pinot Noir topped the crop with a price of $2,655 per ton, with white varieties including Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Müller-Thurgau coming on strong. Chardonnay is now the state’s second most-expensive grape at $2,236 per ton, up 28% in 2013 compared to 2012. This follows on appreciation of 46% since 2009, and 88% since 2004—the strongest of any grape in the state.

And those numbers are just the averages.

“I’ve also seen fruit prices for premium Chardonnay topping Pinot Noir,” said Ben Howe of King Estate Winery near Eugene. “It is very volatile at the moment, but hopefully the fruit prices will ease up with new plantings.”

The numbers back up the confidence expressed at the Oregon Chardonnay Symposium this past March, when 40 examples of a potential 70 expressions of the valuable grape were poured (see “Oregon Winemakers Rally Behind Chardonnay”). 

“We have the right clones, and it’s proven that Oregon makes high-quality Chardonnay that stands up with other regions (such as Burgundy or California),” noted Michelle Kaufmann, assistant communications manager for the Oregon Wine Board. “I can easily see how the market price would increase.”

However, the advent of major players into the state during the past year has thrown a new factor into the pricing picture.

“We’re starting to see multiple-year contracts, so (pricing) is kind of locked-in-place,” said Dave Minick, vice president of vineyard operations for Seattle, Wash.-based Precept Wine, which farms 600 acres in the state including the Yamhela property it acquired near Yamhill in 2013. “Before it used to be year-to-year contracts…but some of the smaller wineries started getting nervous, so they started doing longer term contracts because they were worried they’d lose those grapes to Kendall-Jackson.” 

While among the Northwest’s biggest vintners, Precept sells a portion of what it grows in the state and has found itself having to reassure buyers that it won’t claw back its production for its own use.

“We’ve noticed that some of the higher end fruit that we sell to the wineries, they want multi-year contracts because they’re worried,” he told Wines & Vines. “It’s changed the thinking process.”

While longer term contracts may help smooth out fluctuation in prices, stabilizing expectations, Minick pointed out that rising prices should be taken with a grain of salt, given production costs and variables such as weather.

While the high price for Pinot Noir looks attractive, returns on the so-called “heartbreak grape” also risk breaking bad.

“The average crop over five years is like 2.3 tons an acre, and you times that by some contracted prices of $2,800, $3,200 an acre from certain wineries, and it just doesn’t pencil,” he said.

While the crop in 2012 was a record, checking in at 50,186 tons, and 2013 is expected to top even that (the numbers are due in September), only the weather will tell what 2014 will bring.

Rains that swept into the state in September 2013 dampened vines and spirits, and growers—who escaped a blast of cold weather last winter—hope the phenomenon won’t repeat. On the plus side, the latest long-term forecast shows the onset of El Niño “not affecting the region much if at all,” according to Greg Jones, professor of environmental studies and director of the Division of Business, Communication, and the Environment at Southern Oregon University.

In the meantime, growers have been dropping fruit to keep the harvest in check.

Jones, for his part, said, “If we don't have a catastrophe like last September’s typhoon, then the major determinant will be supply,” he said. “If yields are high, as expected, then prices will be likely be flat; if yields are average or low, I would expect prices to climb slightly (2%-6 % or so).”

SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 $643 million
7%
$7,954 million
5%
February 2014 $601 million $7,560 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 $132 million
4%
$1,823 million
14%
February 2014 $126 million $1,598 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
February 2015 275
26%
238
16%
February 2014 219 206
     
 
MORE » Released on 03.13.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • March 22-27
     
    UC Davis Wine Executive Program
     
  • March 26-29
     
    Taste Washington
     
  • March 27-28
     
    Rhone Rangers Grand Tasting
     
  • March 27-29
     
    Garagiste Festival
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Is Organic Grape Growing Possible in the East? »
 
Some Long Island, NY, vineyard farmers are already using nearly organic methods. They have worked...
Reader: envcat
 
Article: Loosening AVA Regulations »
 
When I see 'Napa Valley'on a wine label, it doesn't only suggest the flavors I...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Loosening AVA Regulations »
 
I should be able to live in MA, buy Napa, CA grapes, truck them across...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: The Stark Disparity in Critical Tastes »
 
The disparity is all well and good for consumers. More opinions and a kind of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Commercial Teaching Winery for the Midwest »
 
Please visit www.lakemichigancollege.edu/wine for more information about the program.
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
LEARN MORE »
 
SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Visitor Center Busser/...
 Rutherford, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Assistant Winemaker
 Los Olivos, CA
Winemaker/Enologist
 Retail Wine And Liquor...
 Nyc, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Spirits Specialist, Ce...
 Glen Allen, VA
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Educator
 Rutherford, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Hospitality Support St...
 Rutherford, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Marketing Manager
 Santa Maria, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Part Time Bookkeeper
 Sonoma, CA
General Administration and
 Membership Coordinator
 Portland, OR
General Administration and
 Wine Sales & Relations...
 Napa, CA
Sales and Marketing
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.