Review of the Wine Media: WINE BUSINESS MONTHLY

This is the eighth in a series of reviews of the wine media

(Disclosure: Tom Wark has written for Wine Business Monthly on two occasions)

The measure of any publication is made by evaluating it’s ability to give you accurate information about the issues that concern you.

By this standard of measurement there is no single reason why anyone who works in the wine industry or with the wine industry should not subscribe to Wine Business Monthly (WBM).

In the 70 to 100 tabloid sized pages that arrive with each issue of WBM, the business of wine is covered. From Marketing and finance to technique and technology, no area of the wine business is left untouched. And what marks WBM as an essential tool is the original information and reporting that appears in the publication.

It’s difficult in the age of instant communications to produce information that either isn’t a retread of something else or isn’t someone else’s work. Add to this that trade magazines are notorious for reprinting press releases and patting it’s industry on the back and calling this news. WBM has managed to avoid this trap by supporting the industry in it’s unbiased approach to reporting on the issues of the day. To get any value out of a trade magazine you have to trust it isn’t just shilling for an advertiser or a set of pals. WBM is valuable.

Yet make no mistake, this magazine is not for consumers. It is for those in the industry and perhaps those so devoted to their wine hobby they must also know what the latest opinions are on reverse osmosis or the impact of the Dijon clones’ popularity on the nursery industry.

Each issue is broken into four sections and carries a main article. The most recent issue deals first with a "Review of the Industry" and identifies the top 30 largest wine companies and the "hottest small brands of 2004. In the wine making session there is article on terroir. The grape growing section concerns itself with the impact of global climate change on vineyards. Attorney Corbin Hutchins outlines what a "win" at the Supreme Court would rally mean inside WBM’s Sales and Marketing section. And in the Finance and Administration section we find an article about the recent rash of ADA lawsuits against tasting rooms and how to avoid them.

Not exactly your, "Summer Brings Rose Colored Wine Bargains" articles.

In addition, each issue of WBM includes a number of news articles, highlights personnel changes, looks at the publicly traded wine companies and offers an exhaustive rundown of upcoming wine and wine trade events.

I have to admit that perhaps the most interesting, or at least my first look every issue, is the classifieds section. Each issue carries a number of real estate listings for vineyards and wineries throughout California and sometimes beyond that are on the block. In the current issue Robert Mondavi winery is listing over 2,200 acres for sale in Monterey and San Luis Obispo county…for those of you looking for a few acres. For those of you looking to make wine rather than grow grapes, the classifieds offers a profitable 25K case winery with substantial vineyards located in the Sierra Foothills: $5.1 Million (plus inventory).

For those of you who only read commercial or consumer wine magazines the first thing that strikes you when you pick up WBM is the complexity of the wine industry. On the outside, it is growing grapes, putting them in a bottle, describing the resulting wine in fabulous terms, then selling it. Open the pages of WBM and the type of ads alone communicate the vast number of issues and decisions that go into getting a bottle of wine on your table. For example, at what point in the planning and wine making process do you need to consider the ad from Newpak USA that offers "Savour Oak(tm):The Flavors of the Finest Barrels at a Fraction of the Price"? Which of the various nurseries advertising should you buy your budwood from?

A man named Lewis Perdue started Wine Business Monthly about 10 years ago. He since went on to sell the publication to a larger company and become a best selling writer of excellent thriller and mystery novels. The editor today is Cyril Penn. Cyril writes and oversees a staff of good reporters and crew of contributing writers who have tended to write about the insides of the industry for other publications. In addition, articles often appear from wine industry specialists and academics who report on research findings.

The cost of a yearly subscription is minimal: $39. However, you can access a great deal of past issue content at the Wine Business website. It is one of if not the best website that focuses on the business of wine.

Wine Business Monthly


Posted In: Wine Media


One Response

  1. Josh - June 2, 2007

    good work…

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