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Wine grapes are San Luis Obispo County’s top crop for a second year in a row

The folks at Pacific Vineyard Company might know a thing or two about growing wine grapes – they manage more than 1500 acres of the fruit!

For Vineyard Manager Erin Amaral, spending countless hours out in the fields is a labor of love.

“Wine grapes are unique in the fact that your viticulture practices that you do in season actually translate into some of the flavors in the wine and that’s why I enjoy farming so much,” Amaral explained.

These vineyards have helped contribute to a record setting year for wine grapes in San Luis Obispo County.

A new crop report released Tuesday shows wine grapes brought in $267 million in 2017, beating out strawberries for a second year in a row.

“We produce here in the Edna Valley a very high quality that’s desirable in the marketplace. We got a lot of winter rains in 2017 that helped push the commodity along,” Amaral said.

While grape production is up, Amaral says the number of crops planted in the county didn’t change much from 2016 to 2017.

Now that wine grapes are number one, the question is how do they stay there?

“As of right now I don’t have that answer of what the future holds, but right now we have great growing conditions and we will just keep at it,” said Amaral.

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