The tone for the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium State of the Industry panel was "the outlook looks good". 

  • Rosé is still the biggest growth sector. Chard is the #1variety, then Cab (catching up quickly to Chard) and then red blends. 
  • Canned wine is not just a trend and looks like it's here to stay.
  • 2017 was the first year more money was spent on food away from home. 
  • Boomers and GenX are driving DTC
  • “New Age beverages” such as Kombucha tea are growing fast and account for about for $7B (was $6B in 2016).

 

  • CANNABIS
    • “Cannabis is not that big of a threat”,  Danny Brager, The Nielsen Company. 
    • Constellation brands invested in a Canadian company with plans to produce a cannabis beverage.
  • Mario Zepponi, Zepponi and Company M&A
    • There is fragmentation of the industry with Mergers & Acquisition activity in the middle tier. 
    • Prime Napa vineyard land is selling for $200k-$500k/acre and Sonoma $120-160/acre
    • Buyers are looking to Oregon and the Central Coast to fill programs. 
  • Steve Fredericks, Turrentine Grape Brokerage 
    • More contracted fruit, less on the spot market. 
    • Bulk prices are going up globally
    • Bulk wine is $15-$18/gallon for Central Coast.
  • Jeff Bitter, Allied Grape Growers
    • There are 10 primary nurseries
    • People are planting Pinot and Chard. Chard growth has leveled on the consumer end.
    • Net acres pulled and planted are about the same.
  • FIRES: The impact of Oct 8th fires was exaggerated in the media 
    • 78% of grapes were in tank
    • Only 3.5% of all 2017 CA wine grapes may be affected (ie smoke taint). 
    • About 10 wineries were a total loss. 
    • There are increased labor concerns because the fires have created competition with construction. 
  • Justin Winery made the “Best of the Best” wine brands list

Additional Highlights:

  • Lambert Bridge Winery in Sonoma County has slowly and systematically built a very successful Direct to Consumer (DTC) model by giving customers a customized "on property" experience. A concierge greeter directs the visitor group to an experience that fits what they are looking for in the vineyard, winery or beautiful spaces throughout the property. Motto: Experiences, Perfection, lasting relationships, belonging. Exclusive but not exclusionary.
  • Influencer Marketing is a burgeoning marketing tool for wine brands. An agency can facilitate the process and manage social media, content and publishing
  • Nordby construction is building a wine cave for Eric and Lisa Jensen at Booker. Nordby has also constructed Justin’s wine caves and several other projects on the Central Coast. The base price for caves is currently $250/sf and goes up from there depending on geology, size and finishes. Nordby is a high quality construction firm that builds wineries, caves and signature homes, www.nordby.net