Californian vines ripped up for almonds

Thousands of hectares of Californian vines are to be ripped up to make way for almonds.

Loire vinesAccording to Bloomberg.com, up to 8,000 hectares of vines are set to be removed with land replanted with higher yielding almonds, global wine brokers Ciatti Co. have said.

The San Rafael based company blamed drought for the planned upheaval which it said is forcing farmers to switch to higher yielding crops such as almonds and other nut and tree fruits.

A spokesperson for the company said: “The state faces at least a third year of drought, with no significant precipitation one-third into the rain and snow season. Growing regions in central California are struggling as they face “collapsing” wells and aquifers, with the government reducing initial water allocations for 2014 and no water-delivery solution in sight.”

It continued: “The coming year in California will be characterised by drought and sustainability.”

“The state is seeing a mass pullout of all low-bearing crops. Farmers have been forced to shift from crop diversification to salvaging crops that will provide them the most long-term sustainability.”

The state of California has an estimated wine grape acreage of 546,000, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Ciatti Co. broker wines in seven other countries including France, Argentina and Australia.

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