Random Numbered Thoughts

1. Pinot Noir sales by volume are up over 80% for the 4 weeks ending July 2 vs. the same 4 weeks last year. Amazing. Yet, Pinot Noir as a category of wine sales accounts for barely 2% of total wine sales. Question: How big can it grow when there is that much space between you and the ceiling?

2. GRIS V. GRIGIO V. U.S. V. Italy
Sales of importer (mainly Italian) Pinot Grigio out pace sales of Domestic Pinot Gris/Grigio by 300%. By Volume it outranks us by about 150%. But, over the past 52 weeks domestic Pinot Gris/Grigio sales have increased by 22% while imported sales have decreased by 8.6%. So, we know American consumers are migrating slowly from Italian bottlings to Domestic bottlings. So here’s my question: Give domestic wineries use both Gris and Grigio on the label, which sells better and why? Well, here is far more domestic wine labeled Grigio than Gris. Yet the average price of domestic "Gris" is twice that of domestic  "Grigio". Also, sales of domestic "Grigio are growing at faster clip than domestic "Gris." I wonder if from the American producer’s perspective the "Grigio" name will come to be the "White Zinfandel" to Gris’ "Rose"? Will the less expensive bottlings be cheap and simply styled, while "Gris" is used to indicate higher quality? Or is it a style thing? Grigio will be known as a more austere citrusy bottling while "Gris" offers expectations for a more expansive, tropical, fleshier wine.

Case sales of Australian wine for the 52 weeks ending July 2 were up 19%. All Imports were up 7.5%. However, total sales for Aussie wines were up only 17.5%…meaning, prices are slightly lower. By contrast, imported wines sales are up 10.7%…meaning their prices are rising. It’s not difficult to understand the consternation currently being felt in the Australian wine industry, particularly among its exporters, over the future of Aussie sales abroad. Many are calling for an "upscaling" of their wines in foreign markets and less emphasis on Australian wines as "really good plonk."

For the 52 weeks ending July 2 total volume sales of table wine in the U.S are up 3.5% while total dollar sales are up 8.4 percent. I guess the effects of the dotcom bust have ended.

AC Nielsen is the source of the stats. Access and much insight is from Mary-Colleen Tinney of Wine Business Monthly

Posted In: Wine Business


One Response

  1. Dave Brookes - November 18, 2005

    The problem with Australian wine in export markets is it is percieved as cheap but delivers good value for money….not a bad thing but we need to concentrate on the diversity and quality we have over here and not the $4.13 p/litre muck we are pushing at the moment.

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