California's Grape Depression

With sales losing their sparkle, vintners are awash in wine

This fall's California grape harvest was a race against the sun. Unseasonable heat of up to 105° threatened to ripen the fruit too quickly and spoil it for winemaking. But as the last bunches of plump red and golden grapes were dumped safely into crushers last week, growers and vintners were in no mood to raise their goblets to Bacchus. Because of a worldwide glut of wine, this year's harvest of nearly 2 million tons of grapes will be far more than needed. "We are in a hell of a bind here,"...

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