Califronia’s wineries shipped 441 million gallons last year, up 3% from the year before. Sales dropped slightly in 2000 and 2001, but the upward turn since then has continued.
The data scanned by supermarkets shows that upscale wines are selling more … and wines priced below $7 sold slightly less. Chardonnay is still the leading varietal. Pinot noir, popularized by the movie “Sideways,” flew off the shelves in food stores during 2005, picking up 70% in volume. Almost all the wine exported by the U.S. originates in California … and the blush was off that category of wine sales. Shipments last year dropped 16% to foreign countries.