97: How the 2020 Fires & COVID Impact the Grape Market

In mid-April 2020, the grape market saw its highest bulk inventory at 23 million gallons. By November that quantity had reduced significantly to 8.5 million gallons. Audra Cooper, Central Coast Grape Broker and Partner at Turrentine Brokerage explains how the grape market has been on a roller coaster throughout 2020. At the beginning of the year, most varieties and regions in California were in drastic oversupply. The onset of COVID lead to pantry loading as people increased wine consumption at home. Summer fires reduced fruit supply, skyrocketed bulk wine sales, and leave a lot of questions around what the quality of the 2020 vintage will be. Although many wine brands learned proactive techniques to manage smoke taint over the past few years, the industry still lacks standardization in regards to smoke taint testing.


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