Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
04.10.2008  
 

Tough Love for Napa Growers

Grapegrowers' seminar a call to action

 
by Tina Caputo
 
 
Tough Love for Napa Growers
 
Glenn Proctor
Napa, Calif. -- There was both good and bad news for those who attended Napa Valley Grapegrowers' annual "Ahead of the Curve" seminar, held yesterday at Copia in Napa. The good news, according to wine and grape broker Glenn Proctor, of Ciatti Co., is that the region's grape market is on the upswing. However, according to outspoken retailer and video wine blogger Gary Vaynerchuk, the Napa Valley "brand" is heading for a fall.

In his overview of the current market for Napa Valley grapes, Proctor pointed out that both production and pricing for Cabernet Sauvignon are increasing, while Merlot remains stable. Buyers are scouting for grapes earlier in the season than usual, and more of them are seeking long-term grape contracts. Pricing is tightening up at both the low and high ends of the spectrum, Proctor said, and inexpensive grapes are becoming more difficult to come by. Per-ton grape prices for 2008 range from $1,900 to $2,800 for Chardonnay, $2,300 to $4,500 for Cabernet Sauvignon and $1,400 to $2,500 for Merlot.

However, Napa Valley growers do face a number of challenges, Proctor said. Imported wines continue to gain market share despite the weak U.S. dollar; winery consolidation is reducing the number of grape buyers; and wineries are no longer as committed to specific regions. Factors like recession, a large crop and winery failures could also have negative effects on the market.

Though California is moving toward balance, with Napa and Sonoma leading the way to recovery, Proctor advised conference attendees not to become complacent. "Focus on competing in a global marketplace," he said.

Tough Love for Napa Growers
 
Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk, video wine blogger and director of operations for New Jersey wine retailer Wine Library, had harsher words for conference attendees: "Your brand equity is not as strong as you think," he said. "Just because you're Napa doesn't guarantee victory."

Brand equity and marketing are key elements of success in tomorrow's wine market--not only for wineries, but for growers, Vaynerchuk said. "Be very careful who you're selling your grapes to," he warned, and make sure you like the wines they're making. Growers can also promote their vineyard "brands" by co-hosting events with their winery clients.

Scores from traditional wine publications and critics are still driving the market, Vaynerchuk said, but that is rapidly changing. Millennial-generation adults who are already having a significant impact on the wine industry "don't give a crap about Wine Spectator and Parker," he said. "And I think that's a little dangerous in this town." The new generation of wine drinkers relies on electronic communities and social networking sites, like Facebook, for information and recommendations.

"The cost of entry to build your brand today is zero," Vaynerchuk said, referring to the marketing value of blogs and websites. "Become part of the conversation, and don't hide from consumers."

Tough Love for Napa Growers
 
Ted Hall
Napa Valley's consumer relations efforts are "disastrous," he added, particularly in relation to younger adults. To them, Napa is viewed at "the big, bad guy," he said, while other regions are seen as the "good guys." Vaynerchuk advised vintners to spend time "in the trenches" to make sure tasting room staff members aren't being rude or neglectful toward Millennials--otherwise, a scathing commentary might end up on the Internet the next day.

It's also important to taste wines from other countries on a regular basis, in order to maintain perspective. "You're too hometownish… People don't care about Napa cult wines outside of America," Vaynerchuk said. "(This is) a global market."

In a presentation called "The Future of Napa Valley Wines," Ted Hall, president of Napa Valley's Long Meadow Ranch Winery, also expressed concerns and rallied attendees to take action.
SHARE »
Close
 
Currently no comments posted for this article.
 
CURRENT NEWS INDEX »


 
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  
April 2015 $627 million
5%
$8,028 million
5%
April 2014 $595 million $7,623 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 $184 million
17%
$1,890 million
15%
April 2014 $157 million $1,649 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
April 2015 406
34%
252
19%
April 2014 302 212
     
 
MORE » Released on 05.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • May 26
     
    Mendocino Economic Summit
     
  • May 28-29
     
    Direct2015
     
  • May 28-30
     
    WIneMaker Annual Conference
     
  • May 28-30
     
    International Chardonnay Symposium
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: $10 Wine Would Cost $40-plus Under COOL »
 
As a Napa Valley producer, we have spent 30 years building our brands in the...
Reader: Pete Przybylinski
 
Article: Be a Sustainable Wine Ambassador »
 
A great idea. All TR employees at every responsible estate should be encouraged/required to become...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
It would be nice to know that Trost Jacking and Heavy Moving is the structural...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Women for WineSense offering scholarships »
 
This is fantastic! Women in Wine Education must find ways to continue their individual pursuit...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Historic Napa Winery Standing Tall Again »
 
Very Interesting, I'm so glad the building is successfully being saved.
Reader: Guest
 
 


Directory/Buyer's Guide — Your Wine Industry Marketplace
 
 
WINERY SEARCH
 
 
Advanced Search »
SUPPLIER SEARCH
   by Product
 by Company Name or Brand
 
Browse by Category »
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
 Epicure By Jcb Manager
 Yountville, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Retail Sales
 Sonoma, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Marketing & Social Med...
 Sonoma, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Market Manager
 Various, NA
Sales and Marketing
 Region Sales Manager-M...
 Minneapolis, MN
Sales and Marketing
 Chain Account Speciali...
 Seattle, WA
Sales and Marketing
 Area Sales Manager In ...
 Atlanta, GA
Sales and Marketing
 Sales Representative
 Manhattan, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Area Sales Manager-S.N...
 Cherry Hill, NJ
Sales and Marketing
 Director, Hospitality ...
 Napa, 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.