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California wine sales take a spill

January 29, 2010 |  7:29 am

California wine
Talk about a party-pooper: For the first time in 16 years, California’s wine industry saw its shipments fall in 2009.

The news is sure to plunge the state’s viticulturists into a frothing ferment, though it makes sense as the country’s economic woes continue to drag out. While consumption of wine is up 2.1% nationally, industry analyst Jon Fredrikson told the audience at the annual Unified Wine & Grape Symposium that the public was snubbing tonier bottles from the Golden State, and instead opting for cheaper bulk wine imports from overseas wine-makers. Read more here:

Photo credit: For California's biggest commercial wineries, whose business targets the price-conscious consumer, these are fairly rosy times. (John Green / Contra Costa Times / November 6, 2009)