From the Press Democrat:

Grape growers, who are traditionally the last in the wine industry to benefit from an economic recovery, are finally starting to see a rebound in both prices and interest from buyers. Wineries are now committing to buying more premium grapes — and paying higher prices — for the first time since the recession devastated the high-end wine market starting in late 2008, market insiders said Tuesday at a vineyard conference in Napa.

Prices for grapes sold on the spot market in Sonoma County have jumped anywhere from a few percentage points for flagging varietals like sauvignon blanc to 50 percent for in-demand grapes like pinot noir, according to figures provided by Proctor at the 2011 Vineyard Economics Seminar.

Much of the grape buying activity in California remains in the Central Valley, which produces less-expensive wines that have been popular with budget-minded consumers throughout the recession. But in recent months, the premium markets in Sonoma and Napa have started picking up too.

For more, see: North Coast grape market begins to recover