Planting contracts for 10 years and longer are being offered by wineries today for value and mid-range wines at prices of $500 to $600 per ton for Central Valley Chardonnay; $400 for generic reds and whites. These prices are double what was paid just five years ago. Prices being offered for grapes from the Northern San Joaquin are even higher.

(For more, see: California wine blankets America as shipments explode)

North Valley Zinfandel converted from white to red on the vine is being contracted for up to $900 per ton.

“Prices now are 25 percent to 30 percent higher than paid last year,” DiBuduo says.

“The time for acreage expansion is here. But, like consumption, it must be done in moderation,” he says.

DiBuduo says his optimistic outlook stretches for at least the next five years, but he tempered that with the recognition that foreign wines either in bulk or bottle could take a share of that boom.