While grape prices are robust in Coastal regions, particularly along California’s North coast, it’s a different story for uncontracted grapes in the Central Valley at the moment. More than 50 percent of the wine consumed in the U.S. is purchased for $10 or less and the San Joaquin Valley has traditionally provided the grapes for that market, yet many growers are removing grapes.
Winegrape marketing cooperative Allied Grape Growers released its fall, 2015 newsletter this morning with an update on the 2015 season and the money quote is toward the end of page 4:
Challenging times, like being experienced in today’s interior grape market, mandate a correction. In the vineyard business, this correction essentially speeds up the otherwise predestined attrition process. Without immediate vineyard removals, we will continue to suffer low prices and a financially unsustainable market for growers. Growers with production and/or quality challenged vineyards should ask themselves, “What am I keeping it in for?” Even if (and when) the market turns around, those growers still have the plague of low production or quality. Everything has a useful life. It is in the grower’s industry’s best interest if growers understand and act appropriately upon the useful life of their vineyards.
Allied Grape Growers president Nat DiBuduo said 35,000 acres of grapes – including approximately 25,000 acres of wine-grapes - were removed in California’s Central Valley since last harvest. That's based on an analysis of burn permits. He expects the number to increase this year. In October 2015, an additional 3,200 acres of vines were removed, three times the rate during October 2014.
New vineyards that were planted with contracts three and four years ago are coming on line, offsetting some of those losses in total acreage, so Allied Grape Growers is still trying to figure out what the net loss in supply will be.
“Allied is a wine grape growers co-op. We need wine grape growers, but my mission is to make sure all of my growers are economically sustainable,” Dibuduo told Winebusiness.com. “We’re calling on growers to be businessmen, look at the economics of their operation. If they have either production or quality that warrants a higher price and the combination of the two, and if they are economically sustainable, we want them to keep growing grapes. If they cannot be economically sustainable, they have to evaluate what their options are, including removing vineyards and selling the vineyards.”
Back in March 2015, Wine Business Monthly published an article, "Using Video to Increase Brand Awareness" that discussed how short videos may have the ability to raise brand awareness more effectively than any other marketing tool at a winery’s disposal.
In the article we quoted Lisa Mattson, communications director at Sonoma County’s Jordan Vineyard and Winery, who said "We live in a world today that comes with personal filters. Our email box is filtered, our social media posts are filtered. Everyone is trying to cut the digital noise. Video helps you break through this clutter." Mattson said that Jordan’s most successful videos are either the cooking ones or the funny ones. “ I am always looking to find the content that is going to keep our audiences entertained and enlightened, makes viewers want to share them, makes them see the lighter side of wine, and we always try to get in little core messages that tell our story.”
Jordan, once again, has hit it big with their newest Harvest 2015 video, a parody of Austin Mahone's newest single "Dirty Work." Since posting it on October 14—just one week ago—they already have more than 194,000 views on Facebook with more than 3,500 shares. The video is also on their youtube channel.
"And the organic reach has surpassed 500,000- that’s a record for us, and I haven’t seen a funny wine video get this high this quickly," Mattson said.
Selected Recent Sales of Grapes & Wines in Bulk for October 21, 2015 courtesy of Turrentine Brokerage:
Zinfandel 2014 wine, Lodi, 6,000 gallons at $7.50 per gallon
Pinot Noir 2014 wine, California, 19,500 gallons at $7.50 per gallon
Pinot Noir 2014 wine, Mendocino County, 5,000 gallons at $13.75 per gallon
Zinfandel 2014 wine, Lodi, 12,000 gallons at $5.50 per gallon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 wine, California, 6,400 gallons at $7.50 per gallon
The Wine Business Monthly office has officially moved! We outgrew the old space and moved off of the Sonoma plaza, where we resided for more than 10 years. Our new home is just a few blocks away on Maple Street, so come by to check out the new digs and say hi!
Please note our new address:
35 Maple Street
Sonoma, CA 95476
Goodbye, West Napa Steet!
“Overall, I think it is a job seeker’s market right now. People are willing to take more risk in looking for a position that could be more professionally and financially rewarding.”
-Amy Gardner, owner, WineTalent
The Force is strong at Jordan Winery in Sonoma. Our grape growers have it. Our winemakers have it. Our family has it. And soon, our harvest interns will have that power, too. View all our Star Wars videos here.
Wine Business Monthly's October 2015 digital edition is now available. You can view within your web browser, or download a PDF. Click here to view the October issue.
Inside October 2015 you will find:
The 2015 Salary Survey Report
How the WBM 30 Make Wine
-Exclusive Look at Trinchero’s New Bottling Facility
-What it Takes to Handle Massive Lab Analyses
Vineyard Appraiser Tony Correia on the Booming Vineyard Market
Across the newsdesk this week from the Provence Wine Council:
Provence rosé continues its 11th consecutive year of double-digit market growth, winning the hearts and palates of American wine drinkers, dominating wine lists and proving that the region has become what consumers consider the gold standard for rosé wine.
Continuing a long-standing upward trend, Provence rosé exports to the U.S. have grown 53% on volume and 70% on value from July 2014 through June 2015, according to the French customs agency and the Provence Wine Council (CIVP).
This increasing tide is seen across the dry rose category with a continued upswing – particularly the premium imported rosé section of wines priced $12 or more – with a reported increase of 41.1% on value and 34.3% on volume, the Nielsen research firm recently announced.
Industry experts attribute this growth to an ever-growing number of savvy consumers.
“We’ve definitely seen an increase in consumers requesting Provence rosé specifically,” said Advanced Sommelier David Keck of Camerata at Paulie’s in Houston. “In response, we have increased our offerings by about 200% – and as a result have seen a generous increase in sales.”
“Rosé wasn’t as popular five years ago,” said Hakan Aktas, Advanced Sommelier of NYC’s The Quarter. “People were more into white wines and bubblies. But over the past couple years, rosé took over the stage and it doesn’t look like it will be stepping down anytime soon.”
As the American public becomes generally more knowledgeable about wine, the dialogue between sommelier and guest continues to change.
“Five years ago we were still working really hard to change the conversation about rosés in general,” Keck said. “Since we are now seeing rapid growth across the board (with rosé), it is much easier to see an increase in a specific category. It’s nice to have fewer conversations about whether a guest should drink rosé at all, and focus rather upon which rosé they would most enjoy.”
But it is the quality and style of Provence that ultimately wins over its fans. “Provence rosé is certainly the standard by which I find guests comparing other rosé to,” said Master Sommelier Andy Myers of the Think Food Group.
“The delicate, food-friendly nature (of Provence rosé) and the relatively lower alcohol are all features that attract guests.”
Bringing together great taste, along with educating American wine drinkers about Provence’s uniqueness to the market has been a winning combination for the region.
“There has been a misconception on rosé in general,” said Aktas. “People always thought rosés are sweet. (After) the right education of staff and informing our guests that Provence rosé is always dry, (now) customers are mostly looking for rosé that is easy to consume. They like rosés that are dry and light in color – Provence rosé falls into this category.”
Which is why, as Master Sommelier Chris Tanghe of Vinum Wine Importing said, “In 2015 people are much more open to drinking rosé throughout the year and are ordering more by the bottle and having it with their meal.”
Selected Recent Sales of Grapes & Wines in Bulk for September 29, 2015 courtesy of Turrentine Brokerage:
Cabernet Sauvignon 2013 wine, Mendocino County, 2,200 gallons at $17.00 per gallon
Chardonnay 2014 wine, Russian River, 10,000 gallons at $11.00 per gallon
Merlot 2014 wine, Sonoma County, 6,000 gallons at $13.00 per gallon
Pinot Noir 2014 wine, Mendocino County, 12,200 gallons at $13.00 per gallon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 wine, Lodi, 12,800 gallons at $6.50 per gallon
Cabernet Sauvignon 2014 wine, California, 44,800 gallons at $5.75 per gallon
Syrah 2015 grapes, Mendocino County, 16 tons at $1,800.00 per ton
Chardonnay 2015 grapes, Sonoma Valley, 20 tons at $2,000.00 per ton
Cabernet Franc 2015 grapes, Paso Robles, 45 tons at $950.00 per ton
Merlot 2015 grapes, Sonoma Valley, 66 tons at $1,250.00 per ton