Wine and the Current Uncertainty Factor


1…Millennials have much to offer ultra premium wineries
Yes, they are adopting wine on a shorter timetable than past generations, but as Rob McMillan of Silicon Valley Bank has pointed out, these young'uns aren't buying much of the good stuff. They drinking wine with greater diversity and have a greater penchant for imported wines and enjoy really silly labels. But if I were selling $40+ bottles of wine, they would not be my target demographic.

2….It's smart to listen to predictions about the quality of the 2011 vintage in California until 2012.
News reports have helicopters flying over Napa to dry out vineyards, some varieties off 80% and rot in the vineyards. Other reports have quality at a superior level, amazing Pinot Noir and good looking Cabernet, but with lots of ripening left to do. Making predictions now, let alone drawing conclusions makes little sense.

3….There is any reason to believe the Oldstream Wine Press is going anywhere.
The wine media landscape has changed, but that change doesn't include the retreat of the print publications. In fact, I think where wine media is concerned, the emergence of the wine blog, the on-line publications and the wine-related social media likely is good for the traditional wine press. They still retain their reputation for authority and in today's world of massive information intrusion into our lives, people want real authority.

4….We are finished uncovering emerging wine regions and new wine categories
Wine has proven to be a growth industry. Consumption is many countries is up. Quality is up. And wine tourism has proven enormously profitable for American wine regions and nations. This will lead to greater investments in yet undiscovered wine producers such as Uruguay and China. It will lead established regions to exploring new varieties that will likely help redefine their wine culture.

5….HR 1161 is going anywhere this year
Given the pathetic second year effort by wholesalers pushing this anti-competitive game changer and given the likelihood that budget battles and economic will strand Washington, D.C. in an election year pit of gridlock, it is seeming less and less likey that hearings will be scheduled for this bill by the end of the year.

6….Former Slate Wine Columnist Mike Steinberger will be without a regular wine writing gig (assuming he wants one) for long.
Even without Slate, Steinberger continues to be among the most relevant and insightful wine writers/journalists available via his Wine Diarist blog.

7…We can even begin to estimate the impact the China market will have on the American Wine Industry
The rapid development of the Chinese appetite for luxury goods has to strike any observer as the most impactful development in the global wine industry in the last decade. This market is likely to define winners and losers by the end of this decade and is likely to be the source of any California wine industry boom coming down the pike.

8….I didn't just shorten seven blog posts down to just one.


3 Responses

  1. Greg Hirson - October 13, 2011

    Re #4: Virginia!

  2. Peggy - October 13, 2011

    Interesting points…

  3. Rob McMillan - October 13, 2011

    Re: Millennials, they will be the future. Nobody needs a survey to figure out they will get older, get careers, have disposable income, and eventually buy more wine than those who are retired or dead. And from all accounts, they are not brand loyal, but then again – in the wine business “loyalty” is not the same as buying Coke or Pepsi. We all like variety. Spending limited marketing dollars for a luxury brand to attract those clients will today have very limited returns. The overwhelming majority of that generation are expanding their palate and just like the prior generations that started with jug wine and moved on to better wine, this generation will have to take the same path. They wont be drinking the brand they started with at all.
    What is interesting is they are buying nice bottles of wine for special occasions, so are a step above the prior generation that used any wine ONLY on special occasions. They will be the future for fine wine sales …. in the future. Do we need a survey to figure that out?

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