The Wine Industry to Face Challenges in 2019


Although today's wine drinkers, especially millennials, are more adventurous, they aren't drinking nearly as much wine as baby boomers.

This presents a future challenge for the wine industry because it’s no secret that the millennial generation has and will continue to have the greatest buying power in the market. There are more millennials working and earning a living than any other age group. With that in mind, brands are all fighting to appeal to this segment of the population.

According to Lulie Halsted, CEO of London-based market-research firm Wine Intelligence, millennials are drinking less wine than the previous reigning population segment.

“We’re proportionally losing some wine drinkers,” said Halsted at 28th Sonoma County Winegrowers Dollars & Sense Seminar and trade show last week.

The population that drinks the most wine is aging. 21 percent of the wine drinkers in America are over 65 years old. This is quite a spike from the 16 percent of wine drinkers being in this age bracket in 2015.

Three years ago, there were 7.5 million wine drinkers between the ages of 21-24. Fast forward to 2018, there were one million fewer wine drinkers in this age group.

“It feels like from the information and insight we have that we have kind of reached a sort of plateau and a peak in terms of growth in the number of drinkers we have in the marketplace,” said Halsted.

But this isn't just the trend in the U.S. either. In the U.K. and Australia, there fewer and fewer wine drinkers as the baby boomers grow older.

So what are millennials gravitating too instead?

Well, today's market offers a range of alcoholic beverages including craft cocktails, craft beer, and even boozy milkshakes. These alternatives could be tempting millennials away from wine.

“It feels to them like there is more choice available, and maybe wine isn’t quite up there in their consideration set,” said Halsted.

Read more about how millennials aren't drinking as much wine as their parents did at the "North Bay Business Journal" now.

It's more important than ever to have a wine list at your restaurant that is compelling to pique millennials' interest.

On this recent episode of The Barron Report, we took a closer look at some of the top wines on the "Wine Spectator's" annual list with the Wine, Sake and Cocktail Journalist and Consultant Shana Clark. Watch the video below to learn more about these beverages and why they made the coveted list from this wine expert.

How This Season's Wildfires are Devastating California's Wine Industry

How This Season's Wildfires are Devastating California's Wine Industry

The recent wildfires in California's Napa Valley area have been devastating on all fronts. 

The death toll is currently at 21 and 670 people have been reported missing. 3,500 homes and businesses have been destroyed. 

As of Wednesday, six major fires have been responsible for burning through nearly 88,000 acres. 

This season has been especially damaging due to the unusual number of fires that have ignited at the same time paired with the recent aggressive wind. 

On Wednesday, the wind has reportedly increased significantly, which means the fires will likely continue on their destructive paths. 

Wineries in this area are used to prepping for fires, but that doesn't mean that these establishments are safe from damage. Several are going to feel a significant impact.

Five wineries have been totally burned down or have been significantly burned this season.

Although the majority of grapes have been picked for the season, many of the grapes touched by smoke will have to be thrown out. Depending on the damage at the winery, it may take years for the vineyard to recover. 

“A significant amount of acreage will likely be out of commission for a while,” said Phil Lynch, a spokesman for Brown-Forman Corp., the company that owns Sonoma-Cutrer vineyards and markets Korbel champagne to "Bloomberg." “If it’s only smoke damage, it’s one season. If it’s fire damage, it’ll be three or four seasons.”

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Wine Industry Pros Predict 2016's Biggest Trends

Wine Industry Pros Predict 2016's Biggest Trends

By Courtney Walsh, West Coast Editor

2015 was quite a busy year for the wine industry. From restaurants introducing Coravin wine programs, wine keg systemsdigital wine lists, or foregoing menus all together, the year was marked by sommeliers and restaurant beverage directors pushing the limits and experimenting with unusual varieties, regions, food pairings and service styles. 

This exploration was not just restricted to traditional wine by the glass offerings, with bar managers incorporating wine into their restaurant cocktail programs and the craft beer industry taking some inspiration from the wine industry as well. Even chefs got into the mix, experimenting with crafting their own wine to best suit their cuisine. 

Now, more than a week into 2016, three wine industry experts share their predictions for the year ahead.

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Two SF Restaurants Amongst Wine Spectator's Grand Award Winners

Earlier last month, Wine Spectator announced its list of the restaurants that received the Grand Award status for maintaining superior wine programs and two San Francisco based restaurants ranked amongst the eight winners. The prestigious honor is awarded annually only to those restaurants that feature over 1,000 wine selections from throughout the world's most famous wine producing regions. The restaurants also undergo rigorous evaluation that inspects the quality of the wine program, customer service, restaurant atmosphere, and cuisine.

San Francisco Grand Award winners include Spruce and Plumed Horse restaurants, which both joined the 73 other restaurants that have renewed their "Grand Award" status as of this year. Read More

Restaurant and Wine Industries Blend Seamlessly in Sonoma

Restaurant and Wine Industries Blend Seamlessly in Sonoma

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

Sonoma’s food and wine industries entwine as closely as the vines trellised across its rolling hillsides. In Sonoma, food and wine pairing isn’t just an art - it’s an industry. And a hugely successful one.

Here, FoodableTV spotlights three wine country collaborations consumers can’t live without:

JoLe Restaurant | Calistoga

Combine wine country’s robust farm-to-table movement with a burgeoning artisan wine scene, and you’ve got JoLe Restaurant, a trendy, “casually sophisticated" hot spot in Calistoga. Long considered the gateway between Napa and Sonoma, Calistoga proves a perfect hub for this eclectic establishment. JoLe offers a constantly evolving wine list featuring more than 60 different wines, and an equally improvisational and seasonally-inspired menu.

JoLe sources about 90% of their wines from weekly ‘open tastings’ held with distributors, sales representatives and wine makers. By-the-glass price points range from $7-$35 per glass, and provide something for every palate. Owner Matt Spector especially enjoys showcasing small, local, often obscure wine maker projects.

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