Grading My 2014 Napa County Cabernet Sauvignon Acreage Forecast
In 2015, I presented at the Vineyard Economics Seminar. At that point, we only had acreage data through 2014. The presentation was made publicly available. At that time, I predicted that, for the next several years, Napa County Cabernet Sauvignon acreage would increase by 1.25% annualized (per USDA-NASS Crush Report numbers). I decided to check in on that prediction this year.
In 2014, acreage was 19,665. A 1.25% compounded annual growth rate would mean 20,667 acres in 2018. Actual acreage is 2% lower, 20,259. That's pretty close for a 4 year out prediction. I think the reason it's lower is probably due to greater-than-anticipated political pressure against new plantings.
In any case, I actually think we'll see somewhere around this rate for the next several years, though it won't be steady. The growth will taper off over time, with greater growth in the next, say, three years than in 2023-2025.