Smiley’s survey of California wine professionals, now in its 20th year, included responses from 130 wine producers.

Seventy-one percent of the respondents predicted that the health of the wine industry would improve, reflecting a confidence not seen among survey respondents since 2007.

“I’m pleased to report that California’s wine professionals are increasingly ‘bullish’ about their industry,” Smiley said. He noted that 53 percent of respondents expect 2011 will prove to be more profitable than 2010. And 74 percent anticipate that 2012 profits will outpace 2010.

The responding professionals projected that the slow economic recovery would be the major constraint for the industry, followed by pricing pressures, government regulations and taxes, and consolidation among retailers and distributors. For the first time, they also included grape shortages, unusual weather and oil prices as likely constraints for the industry.

They predicted that among red wines, demand would be strongest for Cabernet Sauvignon, red blends and Pinot Noir. And among white wines, demand will be strongest for Chardonnay, followed by Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Riesling.

Wine Executive Program

The Graduate School of Management will continue its work with California wine executives when it collaborates with the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology in offering the Wine Executive Program March 26-29 at UC Davis. The four-day program is designed to teach the fundamentals of winemaking and management skills that are necessary to be profitable in the wine industry and related businesses. To date, more than 520 industry professionals have participated in the program, which is designed to help wine industry professionals enhance their success in the art of making and selling wine. More information about this spring program is available online at http://www.wineexecutiveprogram.com.