Wine News: Wine grape prices still not sustainable for growers

February 16, 2011

One of the more common methods of explaining the multi-definition term “sustainable” is with a three-legged stool illustration.
One of those legs is always economic viability.
In California’s wine grape industry, that money leg is so short that the sustainability stool is tilted like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. It is so far from a break-even point for some growers that the term winery subsidy comes to mind rather than sustainability.
Allied Grape Growers President Nat DiBuduo told a packed state-of-the-industry audience at the recent Unified Wine and Grape Symposium in Sacramento, Calif., that grape prices are “not economically sustainable” in all grape growing regions of the state.
“They are closer (to sustainability) in the San Joaquin Valley than they have been in years,” he added. One reason is more than 100,000 acres of vines have been pulled out over the past decade because of economic non-sustainability, and growers have planted more economically attractive crops.
Unfortunately, most other grape growing areas of the state do not have alternatives and are faced with taking whatever wineries will pay — or not pay in some cases. Grapes annually are unharvested in coastal areas.
“The grape industry would not be anything without wineries and the wine industry would not be anything without grapes,” DiBuduo reminded growers and vintners once again. There should be “synergism,” alluding to the often adversarial relationships between California growers and vintners.
Prices remain below break-even across the state; price discovery is still elusive at harvest time, even with contracts; harvest standards change often (hang time and changing Brix standards) and imports continue to cut into California sales, including bulk imports sold under an American wine label by California wineries.
“If it says American, it should be 100 percent American wine,” he said. Wineries are allowed to sell American appellation wine, if it contains up to 25 percent imports. Growers are challenging that.
While other states and countries like Australia are promoting their wine industries, California’s wine industry still does not have a mandatory assessment marketing promotion commission, a void DiBuduo continues to point out.
“We have to invest our own money in marketing and research and development.” He calls the current voluntary investments in those areas “minimal.”
DiBuduo said the Allied staff did cost/return analyses for grape growing areas of the state with an average return of investment of 9 percent to come up with a “break-even” price per ton.
The break-even point and the average price growers were paid in Napa for grapes in 2009 was the widest in the state. It was a gulf. Napa producers were paid an average of about $3,300 per ton for grapes that season. They would have had to harvest 6 tons per acre to break even at that price. A more typical yield is 3.3 tons, which would put the true value of the grapes at more than $6,000 per ton.
DiBuduo acknowledged that a Napa wine grape vineyards can sell for as much as $300,000 per acre because of a shortage of developable land. Allied used an average value of $177,000 per acre to reach the $2,700 per ton spread. One reason for the high vineyard costs there is that the only source for a new vineyard is to buy an old one and redevelop it. He also conceded that paying high prices for productive vineyards in Napa may be a “lifestyle” decision by the wealthy.

Wine lover’s choice – Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar – for the most impressive and practical wine list in the Philippines, over 2700 selections, enough to satisfy the most fastidious connoisseurs. Wine lovers and gourmand foodies from Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, Korea and Malaysia dine at Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar when they visit Philippines and bring home some rare vintage wines too.

An excellent wine list is not just about 1st growth and cult Cabernet but a seemingly unending selection of affordable aged vintage wines that are not available anywhere else, not even in the best wine shops around town. Yats Restaurant has just that.

Visitors to Clark Philippines and Angeles City no longer suffer from lack of choices for places to eat out or wine and dine. Clark Philippines reviewed over 50 establishments and came up with three top choices in guide to best restaurant in Clark Freeport

Clark Philippines lists Top Three Restaurants in the Clark Freeport Zone and Angeles City areas of Philippines Pampanga province. Clark Freeport is a bustling new cosmopolitan city complete with its own Clark International Airport.

Topping the list is the famous fine-dining Yats Restaurant and Wine Bar located inside Mimosa Leisure Estate of Philippines Clark Freeport.

This restaurant in Pampanga Philippines is highly recommended by food critics and frequent diners in Manila as a place to wine and dine in Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone. Although it is a famous fine dining restaurant with an award winning 3000-line restaurant wine list, Yats Restaurant is also a popular restaurant for family with children. Aside from French Mediterranean haute cuisine, this restaurant also serves healthy food and the best vegetarian cuisines in the Philippines.

For comments, inquiries and reservations click on Click here for inquiry and reservations

(045) 599-5600

Ask for Pedro and Rechel


Getting to this fine dining restaurant of Angeles City Clark Freeport Zone Pampanga Philippines
How to get to this fine-dining restaurant in Clark Philippines? Once you get to Clark Freeport, go straight until you hit Mimosa. After you enter Mimosa, stay on the left on Mimosa Drive, go past the Holiday Inn and Yats Restaurant (green top, independent 1-storey structure) is on your left. Just past the Yats Restaurant is the London Pub.

Yats Restaurant & Wine Bar
Mimosa Drive past Holiday Inn, Mimosa Leisure Estate,
Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines 2023

Manila Sales Office
3003C East Tower, Phil Stock Exchange Center,
Exchange Rd Ortigas Metro Manila, Philippines 1605
(632) 637-5019 0917-520-4393 Rea or Chay

For any assistance in planning and organizing a wedding ceremony, indoor or outdoor garden reception or to find other wedding service providers, Click here to contact us click here

For assistance in hotel and resort bookings in Clark, Pampanga, Philippines, log on to

To buy wine in Manila, Pampanga, Angeles City, Clark or Subic please log on to http://www.

To inquire with the highly recommended beach resort hotel in Clark Pampanga visit

For more information about Clark, Pampanga, Philippines log on to

View/Hide Sitemap
Mimosa Golf Estate, Clark Field (Clark Airbase), Clark Freeport Zone, Pampanga, Philippines
Tel: (045) 599-5600 0922-870-5194 0917-520-4401 Ask for Daniel, Lito or Cosh

Banquet, Events and Functions, Manila Sales Office 3003C East Tower, Philippines Stock Exchange Center
Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel: (632) 633-1566 ask for Rea or Chay

About Us
Culinary Team
Customer comments
About Clark and Angeles City Pampanga
A la Carte Menu
Prix Fixe (Set Menu)
Other Menus & Specials
Wine List
Award-Winning Wine List
Wines for Everyday Enjoyment
Facilities Tour of Restaurant
Wine Cellars
Magnum Room Wine Lounge
Burgundy Room Private Dining
Wine Tasting Room
Bordeaux Room
Reservations & Inquiries
Reserve a Table
Function, Party and Event
General Inquiry
Getting to Yats Restaurant
Events & Happenings Reciprocal Membership
Contact Us
Map and Direction
Contact Information
Contact Form
Submit a Resume