The Grapevine

Retail Wine Industry News: November 3, 2014

November 3rd, 2014

Amazon keeps coming at small wine retailers, Portuguese wine is increasing its US market share, and California harvest looks promising. [level-members]

California Wine Crop
According to Shanken News Daily, the USDA forecasts that California’s wine harvest this year will be 3.9 million tons, the third largest crop ever, though it is an 8% decrease over 2013.

The harvest is notable for its early start and for fairly universal reports of high quality. (Though those reports came from winegrowers themselves, who may not be the most unbiased reporters …)

Portuguese Wine Growth in the US
With wines of the Douro leading the way, Portuguese wines in the $10-$15 range are gaining market share in the US. Producers increasingly have their eyes on the $15-$20 price range, as well.

Exports to the US surpassed the million-case mark in 2013 and grew at an even faster pace in 2014, with 725,000 cases sold through the first 6 months of the year.

While they have a long way to go to catch their Old World brethren from France, Italy and Spain, the Portuguese wines do have a lot going for them, notably a reputation for being a solid value, and an attractiveness as something a bit different for more adventurous wine drinkers.

Amazon Keeps Coming
I think we’ve used that headline before. We recently received a few email promos from the retailing giant, including one that offers Don Sebastiani B Side Red at 40% off. It’s just a 3-bottle minimum and shipping for one of the offers was $0.01. Upcoming deals they feature on their website include “customer favorite” 3 bottle mixed packs, Napa Pinots, Washington State Merlots and others. All are 40% off. [/level-members]