A harvest video Jordan Winery.
The 2013 vintage harvest report from Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley, Sonoma County, California. An inside look at the 2013 growing season, yields and overall quality of the vintage.
The November digital edition of Wine Business Monthly is now online. November is the Vineyard issue and we have published the results from the 2013 WBM Vineyard Survey.
We also have a focus on tanks, an industry roundtable on consulting winemakers, and articles on how winemakers are eliminating VA in wine and worker training programs for new technologies.
Below is Editor Cyril Penn's month in review for November:
Water: we’ve been hearing a lot about it, or about a lack thereof, lately, particularly in the West.
Water supplies are severely restricted in California, Washington, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Arizona and Texas, seven of the 13 leading U.S. wine-producing states by volume.
Aquifer levels have fallen in California. A few weeks ago, county supervisors approved an emergency ordinance prohibiting new development or the planting of irrigated crops within the Paso Robles groundwater basin unless water use can be completely offset. Code enforcement officials are already investigating a dozen possible violations of the emergency ordinance.
California lawmakers continue to debate a plan to bypass the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which transports California water southward, with twin tunnels. Polls show, though, that voters are reluctant to vote for the billions of dollars in bonds that would be required for improving the state’s water infrastructure.
Water is increasingly seen as the biggest potential limiting factor in terms of the wine industry’s growth, a point that was hammered home during the recent Wine Industry Financial Symposium. California doesn’t regulate groundwater use yet, but the writing is on the wall: Experts think state control or at least state monitoring of groundwater use in California is inevitable in the next few years.
This month’s issue includes survey results showing that most growers don’t use plant water status monitoring equipment. Most rely on visual inspections in making irrigation decisions. Previous surveys have shown that many wineries don’t really know how much water they’re using, in the cellar or in the vineyard. It’s one of those cases of the glass being half full. There’s an opportunity for growers to adopt technology that will help them make better decisions that not only affect grape quality, but which will help them manage the water they apply in the vineyard more efficiently.
We’re seeing an end to cheap, plentiful water because demands on the available water supply are increasing: a growing population means more demand for residential use; and increasing environmental regulations require more water allocated for stream flows. The amount of available water is decreasing due to drought conditions and overuse of groundwater aquifers. It’s a long-term trend that won’t be reversed with a few deep snowfalls.
—Cyril Penn, editor
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Wine Market Council will present its latest research results in New York at the Museum of Modern Art on Tuesday, January 28, 2014, the morning after the Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Awards which will take place Monday evening, January 27th. Recent data on high frequency wine drinkers will be presented, along with a wine industry update and information on the craft beer and spirits industry.
The West Coast conference will take place at the Vintners Inn Events Center in Santa Rosa on Friday, January 31, 2014. The presentation will focus on recent results of a survey of winery wine club members, as well as high frequency wine drinker data, a wine industry update, and information on the craft beer and spirits industry.
Look for more conference program details and information on how to register later this month at winemarketcouncil.com.
Two weeks ago we posted about Truett-Hurst's new square wine bottle. This week, we get word that they have released the first paper wine bottle under brand name Paper Boy. The "bottle" is a molded outer shell in the shape of a wine bottle, made from recycled cardboard with a plastic liner.
The entire package is 85 percent lighter than a glass bottle and is easily recyclable. The winery plans to partner with Safeway for the initial release. Introductory Paper Boy wines are a 2012 Paso Robles Red Blend ($14.99) and a 2012 Mendocino Chardonnay ($13.99).
For more details on the wine, check out the full press release here.
Last week we put the December 2013 issue of WBM to bed. See the "Month in Review" by Editor Cyril Penn for a preview of what's to come.
Paying Attention to Mobile
If digital marketing represents one of the biggest changes the wine world has seen in the last decade, the advent of smartphones and tablets is changing the game again. These mobile tools, when done right, are very helpful for selling wines to restaurants and retailers because they put information at the salesperson’s fingertips. There’s video, access to winemakers, one can talk about the latest vintage, and so forth. Most shoppers make their wine buying decisions in the store, so digital marketing efforts that include mobile, video, social media, as well as search marketing, are becoming increasingly important and powerful.
Here at Wine Business Monthly, we’re seeing our web traffic via smartphone and tablets increase such that they now represent nearly one out of five visitors. That’s in line what we’re hearing from a leading winery ecommerce service provider where mobile traffic tops 20 percent. This is expected to grow quickly, yet surfing most wine websites on a mobile device is frustrating. These sites have typically been designed for desktop computers, not mobile devices. Mobile shouldn’t be ignored, though. Smart web design integrates mobile and considers mobile users. Mobile is an increasingly important consideration for any company with a digital strategy, particularly wineries. This isn’t something to ponder for the future—it’s here now, and as you may have noticed, this issue of Wine Business Monthly just happens to include an article on smartphone and tablet adoption.
There’s a range of articles on other topics in this issue too, from who’s planting what—(results from our vineyard survey)—to who’s using barrels and oak adjuncts for what (results from our barrel survey) to a product review on sparkling wine equipment for the small winery. We’ve published more than 70 product reviews in Wine Business Monthly during the past few years but this represents the first dedicated specifically to making sparkling wine. It’s not been done before. Making sparkling wine is not easy but many small wineries are taking the plunge. It also seemed like an appropriate time of year for an article dedicated to sparkling wine equipment—it’s December after all.
December is also a good time for looking back on the year. Inside this issue is a recap of some of the most significant “people moves” from 2013, a review of the most notable transactions that occurred in the U.S. wine industry this year, as well as a recap of some of the most significant headlines of 2013. The industry has seen another year of development and growth. Here’s to more success in the future.
Cyril Penn - Editor
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Lots of promotions and hires going on over at Purple Wine Company, one of WBM's top 30 wine companies (see the February issue). The company issued a press release this morning stating that as part of its ongoing commitment to investment in the company’s sales & marketing capabilities, Purple Wine Company is pleased to announce several promotions and new hires.
See the hires on our People News page.
We got a press release from Constellation Brands yesterday announcing that its digital marketing program for one of its most popular brands, Arbor Mist wine-with-fruit, has reached a significant milestone: the garnering of one million Facebook fans.
This is the first milestone of its kind for a wine brand according to Socialbakers, a social media analytics platform which allows brands to measure, compare, and contrast the success of their social media campaigns with competitive intelligence.
According to 2012-2013 research, 35 percent of Arbor Mist fans have increased their brand purchases since joining the Facebook community. The same research also showed that these fans purchase about twice as many bottles of Arbor Mist than non-fans per shopping trip. Approximately 90 percent of the same fans also recommend Arbor Mist to their friends and families, a key driver behind wine purchase decisions.
“Technology is an integral part of wine consumers’ lives, in fact our 2013 research indicates that wine consumers spend 22 hours each week online; that is more time than they spend with any other form of media,” said Karena Breslin, vice president Digital Marketing, Constellation Brands. “As a company, we strive to connect with consumers everywhere they are to drive increased awareness and loyalty for our products. Digital marketing initiatives help us create these connections resulting in strong consumer engagement which is crucial in today’s business environment.”
Constellation invests about 15 percent of its total marketing budget in digital programs. “Digital and social marketing programs have proven to be strong and profitable strategies for the Arbor Mist brand and we plan to constitute a large portion of our marketing spend into the future,” Martin said. “As technologies continue to mature, we will evaluate our digital and social offerings to make sure we are interacting with our consumers where they spend their time.”
“We figure if you have 100 acres or more, it makes sense to sit down with your accountant and do the math, considering the purchase of a harvester. If you have less than 100 acres, you are better off getting a vineyard management company to mechanically harvest.”
-Al Wagner, Clos du Val Wine Company
From the article "Industry Roundtable: Mechanical Harvesting," page 18 in the October issue of WBM. The October issue can now be viewed online here.
We have some nice bunches of Cabernet, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at Wine Business Monthly this morning. Although, we are considering pruning before getting to work so we can sit in our chairs. The question is: hand pruning or mechanical? Happy Hallowine!
(L-R) Managing Editor Rachel Nichols, Assistant Editor Erin Guenther and Operations Manager Melissa Beasley
(L-R) Erin, Rachel and Melissa
Pumpkins don't get to have all the fun in Napa.
From Mumm Napa's Facebook page