Napa and Sonoma County Real Estate: market elements, vineyard values, and wine grape prices.

The bustling Napa and Sonoma County real estate market continues to thrive into summer 2016.

In this newsletter we are going to highlight various elements that drive market value. Furthermore we will share the most recent statistics on vineyard values and wine grape prices of popular varietals.  This will hopefully be a resource you can use and refer to over the coming months and years.  This is important regarding Napa and Sonoma Real Estate vineyard values and wine grape prices

Let’s start by taking a look at the four elements of Market Value: Land & Improvements, Economy, Scarcity, and Location.

Elements Of Market Value


Elements of Market Value Real Estate

Land & Improvements

Quality, condition and utility. The quality pertains to whether we are valuing a luxury estate, a charming farmhouse or a double wide trailer. Quality can also reflect whether the vineyard / soil produces average or super premium grapes.  Condition takes into account if we are looking at new construction, a recently remodeled home or an A-Frame with vintage 1978 shag carpet. The condition of a vineyard is important as well. Are the vines newly planted with disease resistant rootstock or were they planted in 1980 with AXR–1? Utility is a key factor in functional use. Is the property move-in ready? Is the land usable for additional improvements and agriculture? What is the zoning and do entitlements exist?


The general economy, wine industry and Silicon Valley are key indicators in our local market. All three segments have a direct effect on our region. When the economy grows, consumers purchase higher priced wine keeping wine grape prices stable or increasing.  An improved economy also allows people to pursue their dreams of purchasing a vineyard, vineyard estate or winery. As the economy expands or contracts, the real estate markets tend to follow suit.


Scarcity really boils down to the age old drivers of commerce, supply and demand. If a type of property is scarce and in demand, the price simply goes up.  Premium Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards fall into this category. The scarcity of these premium quality varietals has pushed vineyard prices and grape prices to new highs.  Market sales give us a snapshot of the battle between supply and demand. When supply outstrips demand, prices stabilize or fall.


Location, location, location! Numerous factors make a great location including accessibility, desirability and usability. Visibly clear and easily navigable access close to creature comforts in a nice setting tends to be attractive. On the other hand, there are those that enjoy steep, narrow roadways with blind corners. The desirability of a location is usually tied to the setting, the access and the “right” address.  Last but certainly not least is the usability of the location. Is the zoning appropriate for the location? For example, a parcel located on a busy roadway with numerous businesses that is zoned for retail and commercial purposes would be much more usable than if the parcel were zoned single family residential.

Vineyard, Plantable Land & Site Values

Next we have the current values for vineyard, plantable land and site values throughout Napa and Sonoma counties. As you can see from the graph below, the values have a dramatic range. Napa County is broken down into three segments: Primary, Secondary and Outlying. The highest prices are being paid for super premium Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards in the primary areas like Rutherford and Howell Mountain where vineyards are being sold for upwards of $400k / acre. In Sonoma County Pinot Noir is leading the charge for highest prices, we are seeing super premium vineyards trade at $150,000 + / acre in the Russian River and Sonoma Coast Appellations.

High Flyers

There is very high demand for super premium Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir vineyards. The other factor many potential buyers are not aware of is the site value. The site value may very well be the most valuable component of a property. The site value consists of the actual building site potential of a property. A site would be where a home or winery is built.  The location, setting, views, access and entitlements all contribute to the site value. It is safe to say that there is a great deal of nuance in breaking down the value of a property, but this is a good place to start.

Napa and Sonoma Vineyard Real Estate Value Chart

Napa and Sonoma Vineyard Real Estate Value Chart


Napa and Sonoma Real Estate Value Distribution

Napa and Sonoma Real Estate Value Distribution

Sonoma County

Russian River, Green Valley, Sonoma Coast, Fort Ross, Petaluma Gap, Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Carneros, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Knights Valley, Moon Mountain, Northern Sonoma, Pine Mountain, Rockpile, Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley.

Napa County

Primary:  Oakville, Rutherford, St Helena, Stags Leap, Howell Mountain, Spring Mountain, Diamond Mountain, Pritchard Hill

Secondary:  Calistoga, Yountville, Oak Knoll, Coombsville, Carneros, Atlas Peak, Soda Canyon, Mt Veeder

Outlying:  Chiles Valley, Pope Valley, American Canyon

Napa and Sonoma Real Estate Values 2016 $ Per Acre

Sonoma County
2016 Values2015 Values
Vineyards$70,000 - $150,000 +Vineyards$60,000 -$125,000
Open Plantable Land$45,000 -$100,000Open Plantable Land$35,000 -$85,000
Site (Home / Winery)$0 -$3,100,000Site (Home / Winery)$0 -$3,100,000
Prime Napa Valley Appellation Values
2016 Values2015 Values
Vineyards$250,000 -$370,000 +Vineyards$200,000 -$320,000
Open Plantable Land$130,000 -$200,000 +Open Plantable Land$100,000 -$190,000
Site (Home / Winery)$1,000,000 -$5,000,000Site (Home / Winery)$1,000,000 -$5,000,000
Secondary Napa Valley Appellation Values
2016 Values2015 Values
Vineyards$120,000 -$270,000 +Vineyards$100,000 -$220,000
Open Plantable Land$50,000 - $130,000 +Open Plantable Land$50,000 -$100,000
Site (Home / Winery)$250,000 - $2,000,000 +Site (Home / Winery)$250,000 -$1,000,000+
Outlying Napa Valley Appellation Values
2016 Values2015 Values
Vineyards$50,000 -$120,000 +Vineyards$50,000 -$100,000+
Open Plantable Land$25,000 -$50,000 + Open Plantable Land$25,000 -$50,000+
Site (Home / Winery)$0 -$350,000 + / SiteSite (Home / Winery)$0 -$350,000+
*Data values were sourced from the 2016 Trends In Agricultral Land and Leases, California Chapter ASFMRA

Wine Grape Prices

Last but not least is a list of the 2015 weighted average wine grape prices for popular varietals in Napa and Sonoma Counties. Once again we see Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and Sonoma County Pinot Noir bringing in the highest prices. But, let’s not forget that virtually all varietals have a positive trend in price / ton appreciation over the last several years.  A very important topic regarding Napa and Sonoma Real Estate vineyard values and wine grape prices.


Napa and Sonoma County Wine Grape Prices

Napa and Sonoma County Wine Grape Prices

2015 Weighted Average Grape Prices, Highs & Lows

Napa County
Cabernet Sauvignon$6,285+$5,926$5,493$48,000$250
Pinot Noir$2,713+$2,604$2,450$8,350$1,700
Merlot$3,135+$2,978 $2,791$55,422 $800
Zinfandel$3,390 +$3,333 $3,145$6,977 $1,200
Syrah$3,224 +$3,175 $3,133$15,414$900
Chardonnay$2,592 +$2,497 $2,474$7,500 $525
Sauvignon Blanc$2,012 +$1,909 $1,899$5,000 $1,000
Sonoma County
Cabernet Sauvignon$2,724 +$2,605 $2,499$30,622 $46
Pinot Noir$3,526 +$3,245 $3,116$17,876 $500
Merlot$1,715 +$1,651 $1,613$14,024 $191
Zinfandel$2,713 +$2,541 $2,492$15,167 $100
Syrah$2,525 +$2,314 $2,297$11,573 $1,100
Chardonnay$2,085 +$1,986 $1,940$11,012 $700
Sauvignon Blanc$1,608 +$1,531 $1,418$9,520 $838

A Final Thought

As summer heats up and our national politicians continue to fill the media with more hot air, remember how lucky we are. Here in wine country, cool evening breezes, a beautiful backdrop and a nice glass of wine will wash away all the nonsense. Don’t forget to call if you are looking to sell or have any questions.

Have a great Summer!

David Ashcraft

Click Here for PDF version

Next Newsletter

Previous Newsletter

Some additional articles that might be helpful:

What is a vineyard really worth?  It depends.

Wine Country Real Estate Building Blocks

Looking to Buy A Winery, Start Here

So where exactly is wine country?

Buying a Vineyard?  A short course to the basics.

Which AVA came first?

If you are serious about your wine country search, please contact us today.  Last but least, here is link to more local resources.

Wine Country Real Estate Market in 2024

We are looking at a bifurcated wine country real estate market in 2024.  A stronger economy along with improving interest rates generally bodes well for real estate.  In contrast, the wine industry is struggling.... Read more

Wine Country Real Estate Update Summer 2023

Happy August!  A cooler than average growing season after major winter rains has been a welcome pattern this summer.  I hope you have been soaking it up.  On the real estate front the market has several competing variables creating an interesting dynamic to say the least.  It is time for the wine country real estate […]... Read more

Buying A Vineyard

Before You Take The Plunge In Buying A Vineyard - Ask yourself: why am I buying a vineyard? This may seem like an obvious question but the answer could lead you in numerous directions not yet considered. What’s the driver? Are you looking for lifestyle? Are you looking to create the next super premium Cabernet, Pinot Noir or Chardonnay? Are you going to be hands off or do you want to be out in field getting dirt under your nails? Let's take a quick look at some things you should consider.... Read more

Green Shoots in 2023, and Which AVA Came First?

Winter 2023 First things first, Happy 2023!  Another year to enjoy this beautiful area we call home.  With more than two decades of selling wine country real estate, I am still in awe of our backyard.  The dynamic landscape is a constant reminder of the amazing diversity throughout Sonoma and Napa Counties, from the Pacific […]... Read more

Napa and Sonoma Real Estate 2022

The Dream Lives on in Napa / Sonoma and Further Afield –  Real Estate Another exciting year is underway as we approach Spring.  Let’s take a look at Napa and Sonoma Real Estate 2022.  With pruning behind us, we anticipate bud break in the coming months. The cycle continues. Before going any further, I have […]... Read more

Sonoma and Napa Winter 2021

Light on the Horizon Dust Settles During the Sonoma and Napa Winter 2021 If there is one thing we have learned over the last several years, it is that wine country is resilient.  Wildfires, economic uncertainty, politics and a worldwide pandemic have all conspired to shake our core, especially in 2020.  But here we are, […]... Read more

Moving Forward – Sonoma and Napa Real Estate 2020

Clearly, we are enduring an unprecedented challenge with Covid-19 health issues and associated economic impact.    As a community I am sure we will ultimately arrive at a   destination that resembles the wine country that we all know and love.... Read more

Opportunities and Challenges in Napa and Sonoma

No doubt, the last few years have been good in wine country with increasing wine grape and real estate prices. While things are still good in wine country, there have been some changes in the market over the last six months.... Read more

Buyers Compete In Sellers Market, Spring 2017

So what are the current real estate values in wine country? The latest information shows continued price increases across the board. Even the median home price in Sonoma County has doubled in the last five years.... Read more

Wine Country Real Estate and Wine Industry News

It goes without saying that the vineyard, wine grape and wine industry has an impact on real estate in Napa Valley, Sonoma County and all other wine regions.  Be sure to check back often to read current and past wine country real estate and wine industry news.  Sourced from industry experts to keep you informed.... Read more

At Home In Sonoma County

Russian River Valley For the last quarter century, I have had the pleasure of calling Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley home.  During that time, I have witnessed the region go from an “under dog” reputation to world-class status.  Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards are some of the most sought after in California […]... Read more

Notable Vineyard and Winery Sales 2024

Throughout the year you can check back here to see any notable publicized vineyard and winery sales in 2024.  The various sales and transactions are not only interesting but may also point to trends that can impact real estate in Napa, Sonoma and other wine country regions. This page will be updated throughout the year […]... Read more

Napa Valley and Sonoma County Wine Grape Prices 2024

Based on the grape crush report it would appear Napa Valley and Sonoma County wine grape prices continue their upward climb as we enter 2024. The one exception is Sonoma County Cabernet which noted a very modest drop from the previous year.... Read more

Buying a home, vineyard or winery in Sonoma or Napa & Video

Are you considering a move to wine country?  Does the image of rolling hills, rows of vineyards in a bucolic setting come to mind?  If so, purchasing a home, vineyard, or winery real estate may be your next step.  Buying and selling wine country real estate isn't always black and white.... Read more

Wine Country Resources

When moving to wine country, or even after living the area for decades, there will be a time when you need some expert help and wine country resources.  Here are links to various experts in Sonoma and Napa Counties. Wine Country Experts – Sonoma and Napa Architects Designers Lenders Legal Advisors Appraisers CPA / Financial […]... Read more