STYLE
02/15/2014 03:00 EST | Updated 04/17/2014 05:59 EDT

Calif. wine-grape growers celebrate bumper crop; should mean consumers find bargain bottles

MODESTO, Calif. - 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 favourable 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 per cent 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.