Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
 

Editor's Letter

 

Economic Picture Bright for Wineries

January 2014
 
by Jim Gordon
 
 

This issue begins Wines & Vines’ 95th year of publishing. It also marks the 15th year that we’ve produced a special edition for the Unified Wine & Grape Symposium, which takes place Jan. 28-30 in Sacramento, Calif. “The Unified” is the biggest and most important conference and trade show for the North American wine industry.

One reason we value the Unified is that it seems to set the tone for the year ahead. Every vintner, winemaker, grower, expert speaker and supplier brings his or her own state of mind and business forecast to this show, but then somehow—between the conference sessions, the sales pitches on the trade show floor and the drinks with old friends—a consensus emerges about the health of the wine industry.

Without going too far out on a limb, we predict that the tone this year will be extremely positive. Two large and nearly trouble-free West Coast vintages in 2012 and 2013, steadily increasing wine consumption and a growing (if too slowly) U.S. economy all point toward prosperity in 2014.

Quite possibly the economic outlook for wine producers is even better than most realize. Telling statistics come from the Index of Winery Job Postings produced by Winejobs.com. These are explained in more detail in our Wine Industry Metrics coverage (page 12) and Top Stories section (pages 16-17). Winery hiring activity was high throughout 2013, and it stayed high through November, even after the harvest and peak tourism period ended. Wineries are hiring with confidence, and they are doing it because they see more growth and profits ahead.

McGourty and Patterson
One factor vital to wineries’ long-term success is water. Vineyards and wineries want more of it, but so do residents, other industries and wildlife. In his Grounded Grapegrowing column (page 42), Glenn McGourty studies how these stakeholders are vying for water in two vital watersheds of California’s Mendocino County.

The ability to taste is their most valuable equipment, according to several respected winemakers that Tim Patterson interviewed for his Inquiring Winemaker column. “The reason wine is made by people and not computers or 3D printers is that some human has to taste and sniff the stuff all the way along the line and make dozens of decisions based on the mental readouts from these tiny little organs. It’s the place where art meets science in winemaking,” writes Patterson (page 36).

Mondavi and Hobbs
We have published in almost every issue since June 2011 a Technical Review of a new or notable winery, with information about how each was designed and equipped. Now, for the first time we are publishing two Technical Reviews. The cover story is Paul Franson’s account (page 58) of the building and equipping of Continuum Estate in Napa Valley. While much has been written about the highly rated wines from Continuum since they were introduced with the 2005 vintage by siblings Tim Mondavi and Marcia Mondavi Borger, this is the first detailed look inside the thoughtfully designed 3,000-case estate winery.

The second Technical Review shows the 20,000-case Paul Hobbs winery in Sonoma County (page 68). Staff writer Andrew Adams interviews the globe-trotting winemaker about the equipment he chose and the processes he devised for handling fruit and aging wine at his own home base in Sebastopol, Calif.

Central and Eastern winemaking
Adams also reports from Missouri wine country (page 90) on a dilemma some of the 122 wineries there face: how to please potential tasting room customers with sweet wines while striving for classic-style dry wines for restaurants and other distribution.

A well-researched article about Vitis hybrids in the Wine East section (page 135) is the first of a two-parter by G. Stanley Howell and Paolo Sabbatini. You could say that Howell, an emeritus viticulture professor at Michigan State University, has been working on this report for his whole career.

Vintage 2013
A Wines & Vines tradition is the annual Vintage Report beginning on page 108. It includes summaries of the growing season and harvest from 32 regional correspondents across North America.

Practical Winery & Vineyard
There is no Practical Winery & Vineyard section in this issue because PWV is being distributed this month as a stand-alone magazine. Look for the return of the PWV section in our February issue.

Thanks very much for reading Wines & Vines. Please stop by our booths in the Unified Symposium trade show: Nos. 428-430 and 118. We hope your business prospers in 2014!

 
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
 
SEE OTHER EDITIONS OF THIS COLUMN ï¿½ CURRENT COLUMN ARTICLES »


 
Wines & Vines Home
 
866.453.9701 | 415.453.9700 | Fax: 415.453.2517
65 Mitchell Blvd., Ste. A San Rafael, CA 94903
info@winesandvines.com
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Wine Industry Metrics
 
Off-Premise Sales » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 $603 million
6%
$8,136 million
6%
July 2014 $568 million $7,701 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 $66 million
9%
$1,906 million
14%
July 2014 $61 million $1,674 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
July 2015 323
4%
262
18%
July 2014 312 222
     
 
MORE » Released on 08.13.2015
Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • September 6
     
    Harvest Wine Celebration
     
  • September 11-13
     
    Cincinnati Food + Wine Classic
     
  • September 17
     
    Winejobs.com Summit
     
  • September 18
     
    Owning and Operating an Urban Winery or Brewery
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Nielsen Unpacks Package Design »
 
Okay, I'll state the obvious (to anyone with CPG experience) - the Wine Biz is...
Reader: Joel Miller
 
Article: Nielsen Unpacks Package Design »
 
Very interesting reading. Certainly agree with the more indirect approach of evaluating the extent to...
Reader: Roger Brooks
 
Article: Experimental Solution to Pierce's Disease »
 
Congratulations to the team! It is amazing what can be done with biological controls. Keep...
Reader: Bruce Coulthard
 
Article: The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted »
 
There are some wines from New Mexico are infused with pepper flavors. Also, The Wine...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Does Red Blotch Affect Wine? »
 
I have a grapevine in my polytunnel in east London which is showing signs of...
Reader: Guest
 
 


2015 Directory/Buyer's Guide
The Wines & Vines Directory and Buyer's Guide
 
 
EXPANDED ONLINE SEARCH INCLUDED WITH PURCHASE
 
ORDER NOW »
 
LEARN MORE »
 
 
Wines & Vines Magazine
 
 
   LEARN MORE »
 
   SUBSCRIBE »
 
Digital Edition Now Available!
Wines & Vines Digital Edition Now Available
 
LEARN MORE »
 
ORDER NOW »
 
 
The Wines & Vines Online Marketing System
 
The Industry Standard winery marketing application
 
FREE LIVE DEMO »
 
VIEW VIDEO »
 
 
 
 
Latest Job Listings
 Customer Service Ambas...
 Napa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine Educator & Hospit...
 Santa Rosa, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Wine & Beer Sales Rep
 Dallas, TX
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Full Time Retail Wine ...
 New York, NY
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Financial Analyst
 St. Helena, CA
Finance
 Wine Sales Representat...
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Manager
 Healdsburg, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Territory Sales Rep - ...
 Modesto, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Sales Specialist
 Boulder, CO
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Tasting Room Associate...
 Sebastopol, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 
More Job Listings >>
Follow Us On:
 
 





Home  |  About Us  |  Editors  |  Subscribe  |  Print Edition  |  Digital Edition

Advertise  |  Site Map  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
 
 
Copyright © 2001-2015 by Wine Communications Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
No material may be reproduced without written permission of the Publisher.
Wines&Vines does not assume any responsibility for any unsolicited manuscripts or materials.