Prices for winegrapes and wine available for purchase in bulk for production purposes spiked in 2012 as the industry fretted about having enough to supply growing wine sales.
Sales growth in 2012 was 13 percent, or 881,000 cases, in the $10- to $14-a-bottle segment and 11 percent, 282,000 cases, in for $14 to $20 wines, according to Nielsen data.
As the costs embedded in the 2012 vintage reach store shelves over the next couple of years, a number of vintners are wondering how consumers will react to price increases.
Increases in grape prices last year amid strong buying activity as worries about supply grew helped push the county weighted average prices per ton up 4.6 percent in Sonoma to $2,139, 7.1 percent in Napa to $3,498, 15.1 percent in Lake to $1,399 and 16.2 percent in Mendocino to $1,385.
On the value end of the scale, Bronco Wine Co. recently increased the price for the Charles Shaw brand — fka Two-Buck Chuck — for the Trader Joe’s grocery chain by 50 cents a bottle in California, generating a storm of consumer comments.
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