Too Much of a Good Thing? Causes and Consequences of Increases in Sugar Content of California Wine Grapes

The sugar content of California wine grapes has increased significantly over the past 10–20 years, and this implies a corresponding increase in the alcohol content of wine made with those grapes. In this paper we develop a simple model of winegrape production and quality, including sugar content and other characteristics as choice variables along with yield. Using this model we derive hypotheses about alternative theoretical explanations for the phenomenon of rising sugar content of grapes, including effects of changes in climate and producer responses to changes in consumer demand. We analyze detailed data on changes in the sugar content of California wine grapes at crush to obtain insight into the relative importance of the different influences. We buttress this analysis of sugar content of wine grapes with data on the alcohol content of wine.


Subject(s):
Issue Date:
2011
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
DOI and Other Identifiers:
Record Identifier:
https://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/162514
PURL Identifier:
http://purl.umn.edu/162514
Total Pages:
26
JEL Codes:
Q54; Q19; D12; D22
Note:
Reprinted in Journal of Wine Economics, Volume 6, Number 2, 2011, Pages 135–159
Series Statement:
RMI-CWE
1001




 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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