U.S. Wine Consumers Trading Up

Wine consumption was up, Dry Creek gets a patent and Chilean and Argentine wineries get new importers.
Dry Creek Vineyards.

SAN FRANCISCO—Wine shipments to the rest of the United States from California reached an estimated retail value of $34.1 billion in 2016; up 4.6 percent. The state shipped an all-time high of 238 million cases in 2016, up 2 percent from the previous year, the Wine Institute reported on Monday.

The estimated retail value for the wine was calculated with an updated methodology that uses government and private data that were not historically available, such as direct-to-consumer sales and U.S. Commerce Department data, according to Jon Moramarco of BW 166, which bought The Gomberg–Fredrikson Report last year. “The new data sources provided a more comprehensive methodology for calculating consumer expenditures.”

The gains “come predominantly from consumers trading up, not just price increases,” Moramarco told Wine Enthusiast.

PUT A CORK IN IT

HEALDSBURG, Calif.—The U.S. Patent Office issued Dry Creek Vineyard a patent for its design of printed sustainable sourcing information on its cork closures. The closure is laser printed with details about the source of cork including the age of the forest where it was harvested, the harvest date and the sustainable habitat these forests provide to the Iberian Lynx and Spanish Imperial Hawk. Founded in 1972, Dry Creek Vineyard is 100% Certified Sustainable.

HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE

NEW YORK—Chile’s Viña Aresti selected a new U.S. importer, VINAMERICAS, to bring in seven wines ranging from a suggested retail price of $14.99 to $100. Viña Aresti was previously with Broadbent Selections. It owns four estates in the Central Valley totaling 2,842 acres (1,150 hectares), of which 865 acres are planted. It is exporting 5,000 cases to the United States this year, a spokeswoman said.

SAUSALITO, Calif.—Importer Vine Connections said it is now bringing in wines from Argentina’s Casarena winery. It is also introducing Areyna, an estate-grown, under $20 brand that Casarena developed. It also carries two single-vineyard wines each with an SRP of $30. The winery hopes to export 10,000 cases. Previously, Casarena was imported by Southern Starz.

DUBLIN—Jack Ryan Whiskey, the family owned independent finisher and bottler of premium Single Malt Irish Whiskey, has won a Gold medal for its 12 Year Old and a Silver medal for The Bourdega 15 Year Old at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Jos. A. Magnus & Co., located in the nation’s capital, was awarded Double Gold for the second year in a row for its Joseph Magnus Bourbon at the 2017 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The Joseph Magnus limited edition Cigar Blend was also awarded Double Gold.

LOS ANGELESGreenbar Distillery, which makes TRU vodkas, CITY gin, CRUSOE rums and other spirits, announced the appointment of Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits as its distributor for its home state of California. The line had been with Epic Wines & Spirits for five years.

Published on May 2, 2017
Topics: Announcements
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.



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