Calif. wine-grape growers celebrate bumper crop

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Associated Press

Posted on February 15, 2014 at 3:02 PM

Updated Sunday, Feb 16 at 3:02 AM

MODESTO, Calif. (AP) — California agriculture officials are reporting good news for wine lovers and vineyard operators alike: a record harvest of wine grapes.

The Modesto Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1f0YxmG ) that growers in the nation's premier wine region brought in a bumper crop last year, thanks to expanded acreage and overall favorable weather.

Wine grapes are one of California's top commodities, a crop worth $3.16 billion last year, according to the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

The California Department of Food and Agriculture's preliminary figures show that the crop of red and white varieties combined weighed in at 4.23 million tons, up 5 percent from 4.02 million tons in 2012.

Wine brokers say those two large harvests will mean wine aficionados should find plenty of bargain bottles on grocery store shelves.

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