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The California Grape

Grapes are an important agricultural product in California, the Golden State, where pleasant Mediterranean-type climates, ideal soil conditions and abundant water resources contribute to the success of this popular crop. California is home to nearly 20,000 farms and more than 600,000 acres of grape vines, making it the largest producer of grapes in the United States. With such a vast amount of land devoted to growing grapes, it’s no surprise that California is a leading producer of many different varieties of grapes, including table grapes, wine grapes and raisins.

Table grapes

Table grapes are, as their name suggests, grapes grown primarily for fresh eating. Most table grapes are seedless, making them easy to eat and popular with children. Although the vast majority of table grapes are green in color, certain varieties like the Flame Seedless grape are red. Muscat grapes, on the other hand, have a distinct white or yellow hue and a unique floral flavor. California vineyards supply 30 percent of the table grapes in the United States.

Wine grapes

When you think of California grapes, you might think of California wine. Many wine grapes, including the famous Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir varieties, are cultivated in California. Bordeaux, Burgundy and Rhône-style blends of these grapes are common and popular. The production of wine grapes on California farms greatly contributes to the state's total annual agricultural output, and it’s no wonder California produces nearly 90 percent of the wine made in the United States.

Raisins

California produces more than 500 million pounds of raisins every year. Raisins are made by drying grapes, either by sun-drying them directly on the vine or mechanically dehydrating them. Thompson seedless grapes are used to make seedless golden raisins, while Thomcord and Muscle Table grapes are used to make dark raisins. California is the primary producer of raisins in the United States, with about 99 percent of all domestic raisins coming from this agricultural powerhouse.

California is home to thousands of acres of grapevines. Its Mediterranean-style climate and abundance of water resources make it well-suited for viniculture, and its growers and winemakers have capitalized on this to produce some of the best table grapes, wine grapes and raisins in the world. California's commitment to excellence and innovation in the production of its grapes will no doubt continue to keep this agricultural powerhouse at the top for years to come.