The Grapevine

Retail Wine Industry News – Premium-Plus moving up, Chinese-American Wine

June 17th, 2013

There’s growth in the Premium-Plus category and at higher price points, as well. And a California-Chinese wine is a big hit with the big-wigs. [level-members]

Premium-Plus Moving On Up
The “premium-plus” category ($10 and up) is growing well, with retail sales doing better than on-premises. Apparently eight of the top 10 brands grew in the past year.

We certainly aren’t suggesting that you try to carve out your niche selling Cupcake and similar wines, but stocking in that price range, with an eye toward providing alternatives (“if you like … you’ll love …”) to Cupcake, Menage a Trois, Bogle, Clos du Bois, Lohr, etc. could be a very successful strategy.

Wines above $20 have seen even bigger growth, according to SymphonyIRI. So if you’ve been hesitant to stock more heavily in that price range now may be the time. The economy seems to be recovering. According to Bill Foley, head of the Foley Family Wines group, who was interviewed by Shanken Communications, it’s the under-$50 wines that are selling fastest. “Chalk Hill estate Chardonnay is priced around $39 a bottle, and we’re selling right through that. We weren’t getting that kind of traction two years ago. The economy seems like it’s just a bit better now.”

Good news all around. We’ll raise a glass to that!

Chinese-American Wine Connection
Do you have a significant Chinese-American population in your customer base? You may want to stock Moone-Tsai, which has strong China connections and claims that its 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon was among the wines specifically requested for the recent meeting between President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping. It’s about $65 a bottle. [/level-members]