Every year, when Wine Business Monthly creates our annual list of Top 10 Hot Brands, we look for vintners, growers, wineries and wines that are making a statement in our industry. Quality is always an important consideration, but Hot Brands is more than a list of the “best” or most interesting wines we’ve tasted during the year.
Through the years, the definition of “hot” has changed for us. When the list was first created, an oversupply of wine created a market full of “critter labels” and high-production, low-priced brands that would sell like “hot”-cakes. Eventually oversupply part of the wine cycle ended and so did that particular meaning of this list. Now, the Top 10 Hot Brands list delves into what it means to be a part of the American wine industry, part of the American wine culture. And that culture is increasingly more diverse.
This year, we’ve selected wines from pioneers, newcomers, long-standing winemakers and more. While each may grow a different grape or go about making wine in unorthodox ways, all the winemakers selected reflect the diversity that is the wine culture in the United States and all have an innate desire to produce something they, and the consumer, will love.
In the end, this list is comprised of wines that we here at Wine Business Monthly would serve to winemakers. We are releasing the Top 10 Hot Brands, one per day, in no particular order, leading up to the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium. Wine Business Monthly will be serving these wines to winemakers, grape growers and industry members at our annual gathering Bottle Bash during Unified on Tuesday, Jan. 24 at cafeteria 15L.
Capturing the Urban Market
When Wine Business Monthly first heard about Infinite Monkey Theorem, the editors thought the winery’s wine-in-a-can brand would be a shoe-in for its Hot Brands list. Wine-in-a-can, as a category, is seeing some phenomenal growth—especially amongst the younger “experience-oriented” demographic—and publications across the world are catching on (see WBM’s 2013 Hot Brands list, which featured Union Wine Company’s can solution, as an example). But we were pleasantly surprised when, as we were tasting through Infinite Monkey Theorem’s portfolio, we were so blown away by the Colorado-grown and -made Syrah that we had to change our plans.
After talking with winemaker Ben Parsons, we learned that in addition to a killer Syrah, he’s got a good pulse on the future of the wine industry—and a business plan to match.
The full story on Infinite Monkey Theorem ~ and all our Hot Brands ~ will be available in our February 2017 issue of Wine Business Monthly. You can come by our booth (#1620) at Unified and pick up a copy or click here to subscribe to WBM.