Smiley’s survey of California wine professionals, now in its 21st year, tapped the opinions of 138 winemakers. 

More than 30 percent of the respondents predicted that the California wine industry will continue to grow and prosper in the next few years, reflecting a growing optimism about the industry’s future.

They noted that in the past two years, there has been a new emphasis among wine consumers on value, new varietals, new tastes and “affordable luxury.”

Many observed that today’s consumers are influenced much less by brand loyalty and more by social media when making purchasing decisions.

Meanwhile, the wine professionals said that social media played a moderately important role in their own businesses. Most cited Facebook, followed by Twitter, company blogs and LinkedIn, as their preferred social media tools.

The wine professionals predicted that during the next three years the strongest demand among red wines would be for Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and red blends. Among white wines, they predict that the greatest consumer demand will be for Chardonnay, Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc, followed very closely by Pinot Grigio.

They expect to see the strongest growth in sales among wines in the $10 to $14 and $14 to $20 price ranges.