4.5 Million Cases of Wine Needed!
If MKF Research is right, and they usually are, California wil need to produce an additional 4.5 million cases of high end wine, give or take, in order to satisfy demand by 2010.
MKF is the wine industry premier wine research company and often releases various statistical reports and forcasts for the industry. In their latest Monthly Report they forecast that a combination of increased demand and a slowdown in yields over recent vintages will mean that another 18,000 acres of vines will need to be planted to meet demand for high end California wine.
How does this work out?
-Let’s say an average these new vineyards yield 4 tons of grapes per acre: 18K x 4 = 72,000 tons of grapes
-A ton of grapes gives you about 150 gallons, give or take, of wine: 72,000 x 150 = 10,800,000 gallons
-It takes about 2.4 gallons of wine to fill a 12 bottle case of wine: 10,800,000 / 2.4 = 4,500,000 cases
I have no doubt Californians will step up to the plate and get these acres planted lickety split. But where will these new vinyards go? Mendocino, Sonoma Coast, Marin County, Lake County, Suisun County and the central coast. Look for Sonoma’s appellations to be filled in where they can get country approval to plant them. It’s becoming more and more difficult to get approval for vineyards.
This growth is really interesting to read about in light of the recent news reports from France. Sales are down. A recent WSJ article entitled “A Slip of the Sip” indicated “Exports of French wine to the United States, excluding champagne, dropped 17 percent by volume during 2003 and a further 4.1 percent in 2004”. It’s clearly not because we’re not drinking wine. It’s because we’re not drinking *French* wine. I think a lot of French wines could simply use a marketing makeover.
Chas, the other element of California’s increased sales and France’s slower sales is most certainly the weak dollar. American wines are much cheaper in Europe and other country’s now and here in America French wines are more expensive do to the currency exchange issues.