Wines & Vines Home
   
 
Welcome Guest
LOGIN |  CREATE ACCOUNT
 
ADVERTISEMENT
 
 
 
08.30.2010  
 

Highest-Priced Wines Grow Fastest

Retail sales of $20-plus bottles up 22% compared to year ago

 
by Jim Gordon
 
 
wine cost price
 
Wine bottles priced at $20 and higher are selling better than they did one year ago.

San Rafael, Calif. -- The hottest retail sales trend of 2010 for small- to medium-sized wineries may be the rapid and sustained growth of the highest priced domestic table wines, those at $20 or more per bottle. This category showed a 21.9% increase in dollar sales over the 52-week period ending Aug. 8, as compared to the previous 52 weeks, as measured by check-stand scan data from major food and drug stores across the United States.

With $137.8 million in sales and an average retail price of $26.38, high-end wines seemed like the best business to be in. The price per case in this category averaged $317, by far the highest in all categories measured by the SymphonyIRI Group (SIRI). Yet this success had a cost: The average bottle price came down by $1 during that period, a drop that correlates with the increased sales. The relative change in sales volume, 26.6%, confirmed that lower prices were related to more bottles moving.

"What this is screaming at me is that premium wine is totally healthy right now off-premise," said Doug Goodwin, VP of client insights for beer, wine and spirits at SIRI.

 

wine sales brands
 

Top 20 high-priced brands
At Wines & Vines' request, Symphony IRI charted the top 20 brands -- both domestic and imported -- in the $20-plus range to identify the individual leaders. This list looks very different from the top 20 brands over all price ranges, which is dominated by multiple wines from E. & J. Gallo, The Wine Group, Trinchero Family, Constellation Wines U.S. and others. Thirteen of the top 20 brands at $20-plus come from independently owned California wineries.

Only two imported brands made the list, and one of them, Santa Margherita from Italy, ranked No. 1. Imported by Terlato Wines International, the iconic Pinot Grigio brand sold nearly $22 million and more than doubled the sales of the No. 2 brand, Chardonnay specialist Sonoma-Cutrer of California. Sonoma-Cutrer made a good example of how lower prices seemed to boost sales. The Brown-Forman-owned brand's price dropped by $1.07 per 750ml to $22.79, and sales soared by 31.4% to $8.7 million.

Rombauer Vineyards of Napa Valley was a close No. 3. Also a Chardonnay-oriented winery, Rombauer didn't have to push as hard. Its sales increased by 31.8%, while the average price dropped only a nickel.

The red and green arrows on our table demonstrate the correlation between lowered price and increased sales growth. It is consistent, but not universal. The price of both Cakebread Cellars and Trefethen Family Vineyards wines went up, while their sales managed to go up, too.

 

wine sales
 

Overall varietal leaders
As usual in mid-summer, overall wine sales reported in August for the most recent four-week period dipped below those from the previous four-week period, but the total sales of domestic table wines still surpassed the same period last year by 5.6%. Domestic-produced table wine sales in major food and drug stores tallied just under $315 million, and accounted for 77.9% of the total off-premise wine market (against imports) as measured by the SIRI.

Looking at the longer measure of 52-week cumulative sales, domestic table wines were up a healthy 5.9% in dollars over the previous 52-weeks. The total was nearly $4.3 billion on a volume of more than 64 million 9-liter cases. More bottles were sold, and at a higher average price than in the previous period. The average 750ml bottle was $5.50, up 10 cents, and volume was up 4%.

Two of the four fastest-growing varietals over 52 weeks will be no surprise to winery and distributor sales people: Pinot Noir at all price levels grew at 10.5% in dollars and continued the rise that started when the Pinot-praising movie "Sideways" won an Oscar in 2004; and Riesling grew 7.1% in dollars, confirming another long-awaited but now apparently lasting trend.

Both Pinot Noir and Riesling are generally lighter style wines. But the other two fastest growing varietals are full-bodied, and their recent growth is less well appreciated. Meritage and other red varietal blends placed No. 1 in revenue growth, with 11% more dollars than the previous 52 weeks. Red Zinfandel completed the top four fastest growing types, posting a 7.4% increase.

Figures quoted in this article come from the Chicago-based SymphonyIRI Group, which uses scan data to provide market information and services to industries including consumer packaged goods, retail and health care. Wines & Vines provides further analysis and reporting on the results.

SHARE »
Close
LATEST READER COMMENTS
 
 
Posted on 08.31.2010 - 10:13:28 PST
 
There is very little wine worth drinking at less than $20 per bottle.
 
EdwardjK
 
Califon, NJ USA
 
 
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  
June 2015 $602 million
5%
$8,101 million
6%
June 2014 $571 million $7,676 million
     
Direct-to-Consumer Shipments » Month   12 Months  
June 2015 $92 million
6%
$1,901 million
14%
June 2014 $87 million $1,669 million
     
Winery Job Index » Month   12 Months  
June 2015 366
22%
261
19%
June 2014 300 220
     
 
MORE » Released on 07.15.2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Direct To Consumer
Wine Shipping Report
2015
 
Download full report »
 
 

Practical Winery & Vineyard Library
 
Search the PWV archive »
 
 

CALENDAR
  • July 20-31
     
    UC Davis, OIV marketing program
     
  • July 30
     
    Seminar on hotel wine sales
     
  • July 31 - August 2
     
    West of West
     
  • August 1
     
    Urban Wine Xperience
     
  • MORE »
 

READER COMMENTS
 
Article: Does Red Blotch Affect Wine? »
 
I have a grapevine in my polytunnel in east London which is showing signs of...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Central Coast Wine Harvest Begins »
 
Here at Flying Goat Cellars in Lompoc we harvested last week the Bien Nacido Pinot...
Reader: Guest
 
Article: The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted »
 
I'm curious as to how 'guest' defines wine and their rational for claiming this is...
Reader: Rob McDonald
 
Article: The Spiciest Wines You Have Ever Tasted »
 
This is not wine. This is aromatized drink. Like vermouth.
Reader: Guest
 
Article: Gallo, Barefoot Dominate Off-Premise Sales »
 
If the wines listed make up 80% of the US wine sales I'm proud to...
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
 Sales Representative
 Boston, CT
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Supervisor
 Chesterland, OH
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Sales Manager, Eastern...
 New York, NY
Sales and Marketing
 Account Sales Manager,...
 Oakland, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Wine Sales Representat...
 Northern, CA
Sales and Marketing
 Tasting Room Sales Ass...
 Kenwood, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Cade Sales Associate- ...
 Angwin, CA
DTC, Tasting Room and Retai
 Cfo
 Napa, CA
Finance
 Wine Retail Company Se...
 Napa, CA
General Administration and
 Winery Laboratory Tech...
 Oakville, CA
Cellar, Lab and Production
 
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.