September 2009 Archives
Every year I head off to Napa for the annual Wine Industry Financial Symposium. Hoping to pick up some new pearls of wisdom and latest industry trends, I left the symposium feeling quite positive about how we're running our business. It appears we're doing everything we should during these tough recessionary times. It also appears that our type of winery, the family-owned, well-established, value-priced, quality-oriented, appellation-driven brand is perfectly poised to pick up some new business as consumers trade down.
The symposium is in its 18th year and is a combination of consumer data, financial experts, and industry surveys on the overall health of the wine industry. While a number of indicators point to the fact that wine is still a good business to be in, (better than say, automobiles or new home construction) it's tough and getting tougher each day. Big wineries, as well as small ones, are feeling the crunch.
Cautious optimism was the mood of the day.
Trading down was a major topic. A lot of discussion occurred about the future of the $100 Cab. Then again, I was in Napa, so I guess that's to be expected. (Admittedly, I felt pretty smug, since our Cabernet averages $22-$24.) Statistics show that today's consumers are desperately seeking value, but this doesn't just mean price. They're changing where they shop and what they consider necessities. (I don't know about you, but there's no question that wine is a necessity!) Value is in vogue and so is frugality. It's cool to shop at Costco. And this is true across all income levels, even the most affluent. But, Americans still love luxuries. Unlike a costly vacation or major home improvement, wine is still an affordable luxury than provides instant pleasurehallelujah!
At the end of the day everyone agreed: every major recession has one thing in common. They all end. So, while we're not out of the woods yet, it appears that the economy is getting less worse. And, wineries that are relevant to today's consumer will fare the best.
Now back to that $100 Cab. I know of scads of reasonably priced, exceptionally delicious and very pleasurable wines to drink. As a matter of fact, I have one right here in front of my nose.
And quite a few cases in the back if you want more.
|I have been to more wine events than you can possibly imagine. I've poured, I've sipped, I've swirled, and I've survived standing on my feet for countless hours all in the name of spreading the gospel about our wines. Truthfully, there are few tastings that really get me all that jazzed anymore. But there's a new tasting event here in the Dry Creek Valley that is worth spreading the word about. Put on by Winegrowers of Dry Creek Valley, it's called Zintopia and it's fast approaching on Saturday, September 19. Over 30 wineries have agreed to pour their limited release Zinfandels and Sauvignon Blancs along with other uncommon red and white varieties. An outdoor marketplace with local artisans and edible delights will satisfy the gastronomics out there. An old fashioned grape stomp and harvest celebration is also planned. So, if you're looking for an excuse to get out of dodge, this just might be it. It sounds like Zintopia to me! Besides, anytime there's a blues band playing is sure to be a good time, right? If you decide to come, be sure to stop by my table. I'll be the one with the red hair flyin', the toes tappin', and the hips swayin' .|
This is a blog about what it's really like to be in the wine industry...so sit back, take a sip and enjoy!
A Lifetime in Wine
Top 10 Traits of the Successful Family Winery
The Dreaded Family Meeting
Board Meeting Jitters
Is the Future of the Winery in Danger?
The Case of the Overweight Bottle
Wine and Dementia
Wanted: Talented (Normal) Individual for Family Owned Winery
A Sea of Wine
The Heroes of Our Industry