Winemakers are an enigma to us mere mortals who drink their product and wonder at the romance and genius that has gone into each drop.
Knowing a winemaker is the grown up version of going to school with the child of someone who worked for Whittaker’s, Tip Top or Griffins - and with […]

If you believe the old marketing cliche that wine is “made in the vineyard,” you might imagine that the grapes practically bypass the winery on their way to the bottle. Why, then, do so many wineries offer tours to show off their fermentation tanks and barrel rooms? And why are high-profile winemaking […]

Heavy Wine

Filed Under Comment | 1 Comment

The trend of rising alcohol in wine is, to me, neither alarming nor threatening. It is something else: boring. Yes, we all see it and taste it, but we seem to forget that we can avoid it. There are still a plethora of wines available to the average consumer with ethanol levels below those considered […]

I’ll get this out of the way right up front - direct to consumer wine packaging is pretty sad. Un-thoughtful. Minimalist (ok, cheap). Underwhelming.

Paradoxically, direct is where we producers make our best margins. It’s the place we can most afford to give our best customers a memorable, positive experience. And yet where do all the […]

Do Martha’s wines lack authenticity?
There has been an announcement in the wine world that Martha Stewart has entered into an agreement with E&J Gallo to bottle wine for her under the label “Martha Stewart Vintage.”  Check out these stories about this news:  Tom Wark’s Fermentation and the San Francisco Chronicle.

I am fascinated by this collaboration.  […]

An hour conversation in a special edition about wine with critic Robert Parker, from his home in Maryland. He discusses his bi-monthly newsletter “The Wine Advocate”, the powerful impact his reviews have on the wine industry and his favorite bottles. He also talks about the differences between domestic and foreign wines, the role of the […]

Those interested in the world of wine have probably heard the bad news by now: the world is running out of Champagne. At least, this is the news coming from the Champagne producers themselves. The president of Moët & Chandon, Frédéric Cumenal, recently told the French financial paper Les Echos, “For thirty years, the […]

I find it admirable that many independent wine retailers in New Zealand have taken a stand against supermarkets and don’t stock the wines they sell. Many great wine brands, their image meticulously built up over a number of years by the hard working staff on the ground in retail, have ruined their image by taking […]

It comes as no news to anyone that the American people love their animals. What did come as a surprise to me is that we also love animals on our wine labels. Yes, a study released earlier this year by ACNielsen confirms that wine labels with animal images are becoming increasingly popular in this country.
I […]

Costco is the largest wine retailer in the United States and I think it is worth thinking about the Costco model and what it has to say about the globalization of wine.
Costco’s approach to selling wine is different from most other U.S. retailers, such as supermarket chains. Most supermarkets offer a surprisingly large selection […]

SVB Financial Group have released their annual State of the US Wine Industry Report. An interesting read if you’re currently exporting or considering exporting to the US.
Download/View the report here>>
Share This

This article was first published by in 2003. How much has changed since then?

Resting on the assumption that reputation is enough, the importance of marketing has been ignored by a large part of the French wine making industry. This, precisely, is France’s weak spot.
Not following changes in consumer demand, French wine makers have missed […]

Does this story sound familiar?
I am a husband, father and fifth-generation California farmer. I’m also a proud California winegrape grower producing quality grapes for quality California wines. But these days it is more challenging being a California winegrape grower than a husband and a father.
California is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world, […]

E-mail It