From the North Bay Business Journal:

The prices of wine on U.S. store shelves could start rising this year because of an “emerging shortage” of winegrapes and wine plus a sales and marketing “blitz” last year, according to experts speaking at a major wine industry trade event this morning.

Sales of wine in the U.S. had roughly double the growth last year compared with the previous few years, but California winegrape production isn’t keeping pace now or expected to in the next few years.

Wine shipments to U.S. markets increased last year by an estimated 15.4 million 9-liter cases, or 4.5 percent, to 345 million cases from 2010, according to preliminary federal and industry figures through November analyzed by Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg Fredikson & Associates.

“It has been a marketing free for all in the market last year,” the Woodside-based industry consultant told an audience of several hundred professionals at the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium in Sacramento.

The U.S. Trade & Tax Bureau last year approved about 120,000 new wine labels, he noted. Now more than 7,000 wine producers are funneling through 675 distributors, with 10 distributors handling 60 percent of volume.

For more, see: Forecast: Wine, grape prices to rise in 2012