The Wine Spectator has a news story about rising California grape prices:
California’s grapegrowers finally have something to cheer about—grape prices are going up. But does that mean higher prices for consumers? Winery owners are trying to cut costs so they can keep prices low at a time when drinkers still want value.
After nearly three years of sluggish sales and an oversupply of wine, vintners have cleared their cellars of older vintages and are looking to increase their grape purchases. But two small harvests and an absence of new plantings mean they are competing for a smaller amount of fruit. That demand is pushing up grape prices and bulk wine prices. “If you are buying wine on the bulk market, or you’re a négociant, your costs are going to go up,” said Adam Lee of Siduri and Novy Family wines. Larger producers like E. & J. Gallo are actively signing long-term contracts with vineyard owners to guarantee grape supplies at a set price.