Sunday, October 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Wine leaders enthusiastic about industry future

By
From page A16 | September 29, 2013 |

GrapesW

Grapes hang heavy in the vineyards at Heringer Winery in Clarksburg, ready for harvest. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

Despite long-term concerns about climate change and regulatory pressures, California wine industry leaders are once again quite bullish about the wine business, according to two new surveys conducted by UC Davis.

Findings from the surveys of wine executives and industry professionals were presented Tuesday during the Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa.

“The wine industry, by and large, has weathered the worst of the economic downturn of this decade,” said Robert Smiley, professor and dean emeritus of the UCD Graduate School of Management.

“The CEOs and professionals who participated in these surveys expressed a growing confidence in the future of traditional brands and optimism for the expanding global market,” he said. “And, to varying degrees, they are interested in exploring new products to meet the demands of the millennial generation and increasing their use of social media in their marketing strategies.”

Smiley has surveyed wine executives for each of the past 12 years and winemakers for 22 years. The surveys examine global and national trends in the wine industry. They complement other wine research and teaching at UCD, home for more than 100 years to the most comprehensive university wine program in the United States.

In this 12th annual wine executives survey, Smiley gathered the opinions and projections from the heads of 28 leading wineries.

Now that the economy is rebounding, brand and quality are having more of an impact than price on consumer purchases, the respondents reported. They noted that even during the more difficult economic years, many consumers who were accustomed to the more expensive, higher-quality brands continued to purchase those wines; they simply bought less of them.

As the economy recovers, consumers will continue to make luxury wine purchases, but those will be well reasoned, rather than “frivolous luxury” purchases, one executive predicted.

Asked how firms are vying for the attention of the millennial generation, in light of competition from craft beers and craft cocktails, the executives offered mixed responses. Some reported that they or their competitors are developing new products by adding flavors, carbonation or even spirits to regular wine.

“It’s a great opportunity to experiment with the millennials because they are focused on things like authenticity and some integrity,” said one respondent. “They love to discover things.”

Others respondents said they are not creating such “pop products,” but rather are continuing to innovate in terms of how they source grapes and make wine, with an emphasis on quality.

Most respondents voiced keen interest in international market expansion in a variety of regions including Asia, South and Central America, Europe, Canada, Russia and even Africa.

Several respondents reported that their firms are cautiously eyeing the massive Chinese market, but with significant concerns about its stability. One executive found Japan to be a far stronger market than China, noting that Japanese wine consumers “have been buying Napa Valley wines for a long time and have a preference for those luxury items …”

In the area of social media, the executives reported that their businesses use a variety of services, including Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram, Pinterest and Trip Advisor. Special online offerings include live tastings and streaming video. And, they are training their employees on the importance of product quality and customer service, especially in an era when consumers’ likes and dislikes are so quickly and broadly shared with the online community.

Identifying hot topics for the next five to 10 years, the survey respondents said they are most concerned about the effects of climate change; environment-related regulatory pressures; and the availability and cost of labor, land and water.

Wine professionals

Smiley’s survey of California wine professionals, now in its 22nd year, gathered the opinions of 110 wine industry leaders. Most of the survey respondents represent wine companies; others are from operations that range from wineries to grape-growing and wine-distribution firms to financial institutions.

The survey respondents overwhelmingly predicted that the greatest opportunities for the wine industry will be found in increasing direct sales to consumers; followed by consumers “trading up” in terms of the price and quality of their purchases, increased wine sales, and the new market that is evolving as the millennial generation comes of age.

They project that during the next three years, California wine sales will receive their greatest boost from an improved economy and increased consumer confidence, followed by rising direct sales to consumers, improvements in value for price, and large or above-average wine-grape crops.

On the other hand, they anticipate that the greatest hurdles for the California wine industry during the next three years will be higher input costs and slow economic recovery, followed by limited water availability and “margin compression” — a decline in the margin of revenues compared to costs.

The respondents predict that over the next three years, the strongest white wine varietals will be chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio, while the strongest red wines will be cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and red blends.

They anticipate the strongest growth in sales will be among wines in the $10-$14 per-bottle range, followed closely by the $14-$20 range.

— UC Davis News Service

Comments

comments

.

News

$18.75M grant aims to build global food security

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Return to sender: MRAP removal options go to council

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Housing First pilot project targets West Sac homeless

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

Howzat! Cricket tradition grows in Davis

By Lily Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Hawaii hit by winds, rain as hurricane veers west

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Evidentiary hearing set for man shot by CHP

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Cop witnesses car-pedestrian collision

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Safe viewing of solar eclipse planned

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
Fill the Boot for the hungry

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Crash victim ID’d as Woodland man

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

 
Guns to be discharged at police range

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

Donate used books at Co-op

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Love-life tips on ‘Heart to Heart’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Wolk sets ‘Morning with the Mayor’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Volunteers sought to chip in on parks cleanup

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

DHS ski and snowboard swap set on Nov. 9

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Quiz Master Gardeners at open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Firefighters on the town

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A3

Senior Computer Club hears from county official

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Celebrate origami at Davis library

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Esparto home targeted in three-city pot bust

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

 
Apply by Friday for Biberstein grants

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Wolk earns perfect score from senior advocates

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

UCD celebrates 50 years of global agricultural success

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Special education information night scheduled

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A11

Be on the lookout for tagged Monarch butterflies

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Old news disturbs the present

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Are we there yet? Yik Yakking the day away

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A8

Take time to reach out for help

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A8

 
A bionic hand with feeling

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Ain’t Snow Mountain high enough

By Our View | From Page: A14

 
Proposed lights harm kids

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

Teach cyclists to obey laws

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

 
Let’s take Davis’ energy future seriously

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14

Be careful cycling on Fifth

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
Water theater isn’t fun

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

Elect Granda to board

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A15

 
Yes on Prop. 47: reasonable changes to curb recidivism, save money

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

No on Prop. 47: an end to safe neighborhoods, and more victims

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

 
.

Sports

Vargas emerges from crowded Aggie WR corps

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Competitive Aggies fall at No. 6/7 Montana

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Devils stick it to Chico, cancer

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

JV Devils fall to Franklin

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

 
Niemi leads Sharks to win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

UCD roundup: Big crowd sees Aggies nip Guachos

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

 
Davis is a temple for fine beverages

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Arcadia Biosciences earns spot on global innovation list

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
35 employers will be at West Sac job fair

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Rob White: Building an economy on innovation

By Rob White | From Page: A6

 
.

Obituaries

Peggy Belenis Swisher

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Sadie Louise Barga

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Morgan Wheeler

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, October 19, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8