People Are Buying Expensive California Wine Again

"Pass me that gallon of Gallo!"
"Pass me that gallon of Gallo!"Photo: iStock Photo

Throughout the Great Recession, California wineries have struggled to sell higher end product while the majority of Americans got accustomed to finding decent bottles at Trader Joe’s for $15 or less. That all has changed according to Bloomberg and several speakers at a Napa conference last week. For the first year since 2008, consumers are buying up bottles in the $20 and up range — so far in 2012 there’s been a fourteen percent bump in high-end wine sales over last year — which is fueling a boom in real estate deals for wineries, and which is putting a smile back on the faces of California winemakers who were getting tired of ceding market share to Australia and South America. “We are in a healthy rebound mode,” says Napa insider Mario Zepponi. We still like our good wine to be cheap, however. [Bloomberg, Napa Valley Register]