There was a small but interesting article in the Wall St. Journal the other day. It seems that the global sprits (liquor) players that went into the wine business are having a hard time of it and want out. These large corporations, known to be the behemoths of the wine industry, are drowning in a sea of mediocre wine that has left their hoped-for profit margins high and dry. The article actually says that the wine industry is “resistant to global brands”… imagine that! Some of these companies, according to the Journal, have such poor prospects that they are selling for less than their book value…what they say the company is worth.
Because of the huge glut of commodity wine pouring out of Australia the big sprits boys are not having fun. Since they are not really offering anything special or unique, except catchy names and label graphics, they are vulnerable to knock off private-label wines – Chateau K-Mart anyone?
Well score one for the magic makers of organic, Biodynamic and natural wines. Even the visually impaired can see that there is a global explosion in these wines. Growers are adding more organic vineyard acreage by the week, Biodynamic conversions are coming on line fast and furious, Demeter has never been busier, and lots of innovative wine makers are going the extra mile to try and make wine naturally…sans anything.
We understand the whole category is growing around 35% a year, vs. 3% for all wine. Granted it is a small base but when you look around any major city and see all the new “real” wine bars and small-plate wine-focused restaurants opening you have to know how important this is going to be. The world of earth friendly wine is on the lips of more people this year than ever.
We’re pleased as organic punch, but not totally surprised. Wine is just one of those things that resists standardization. A new wine drinker may start with a mass-label low-price wine, but it is hard to keep curiosity at bay, and the desire to try something unique, special and real wins out. The artisinal movement is very much alive in the world of wine.
This is what we have been celebrating here at Organic Wine Journal for 6 years now. We look forward to yet another great year in our corner of the wine world. 2011 will bring lots of changes that we are excited about here at the Journal, we hope you will see and experience them soon, we always trying to kick it up a notch to help spread the word.
We had a lot of help this year with a very talented editor, writers, video commentators, journalists and interns who made this all happen one more time. I want to thank all of you from the bottom of my glass. Here is to a healing healthy wine world in 2011.