A dramatic turnaround in the wine market is sharply increasing prices for grapes, bolstering the spirits and optimism of growers beaten down over the last several years by sluggish demand, low prices and hellish weather during harvest.
The optimism and high spirits were almost palpable at the 21st annual Dollars & $ense Seminar, held Jan. 19 at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, where a record crowd of more than 550 people, mostly grape growers, vineyard managers and viticulture industry vendors, cheered the positive news of the rapidly changing market for Sonoma County grapes.
Sonoma County Winegrape Commission sponsors the annual Dollars & $ense Seminar, which serves as a sort of ‘State of the Wine Grape” address for the year ahead. The theme of this year’s seminar was “Preparing for Tomorrow.” The market outlook presented atthe seminar has been gloomy the previous two years but this year it was extremely positive and encouragingly upbeat. The turnaround has suddenly created a seller’s market for growers as wineries rush to secure grapes from this year’s harvest and beyond.