The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 2

a buyer this year, and he believes this may incentivize
some to remove acreage. He summarized, " We are not
overplanting, we are under-removing. As long as the
excess supply is there, the pain is there. "
Vine Planting Trends
Allied's annual nursery survey of grapevine sales showed
19 million vines sold in California in 2023, up from 18
million in 2022, 16 million in 2021, and 15.2 million in
2020, but less than the 19.5 million in 2019. Bitter was
surprised vine sales shifted upward for red varieties (63
percent) and downward for white (37 percent) given that
overall demand is better for white varieties/wines. This
compares with more balanced 2022 vine sales of 57
percent red and 43 percent white.
Cabernet sauvignon remains king of total vine sales
with 26.6 percent in 2023, compared with 28.4 percent
in 2022 and 25.8 percent in 2021. Pinot noir remains
second in red sales at 10.4 percent, up from 6.9 percent
in 2022 and equal to the 10.4 percent in 2021. Bitter
added a new category of Rhone reds (Syrah, Grenache,
Mourvedre) that were 7 percent of total sales, possibly
for Rose' or varietal wines. Merlot came in at 3.5 percent
compared with 4.8 percent in 2022 and 5.7 percent in
2021. Bordeaux blenders remain fairly steady at 4.1
percent compared with 3.8 percent in 2022 and 4.0
percent in 2021.
Chardonnay still leads white vine sales, and is second in
total sales, at 19.3 percent in 2023, compared with 18.9
percent in 2022 and 23.5 percent in 2021. Sauvignon
Blanc remains second among whites at 8.9 percent
compared with 9.0 percent in 2022, and 4.4 percent in
2021. Pinot Grigio vine sales continued to decline to
2.4 percent compared with 3.6 percent in 2022 and 4.3
percent in 2021. Bitter combined French Colombard and
Chenin Blanc this year with 3.4 percent of total sales.
" Other whites " were 3.5 percent compared with 4.4
percent in 2022 and 3.8 percent in 2021.
Demand Side, Sales, Consumption Trends
Danny Brager of Brager Beverage Alcohol Consulting
advised wine producers and sellers to resist being
excessively pessimistic or excessively optimistic. But
as the panel's expert on total alcohol beverage
consumption, data and trends, he said " We have to face
several facts and realize what's working and what's not
working. " He listed several facts: consumer demand
for wine is declining (for beer and spirits too); wine
remains underdeveloped for younger legal drinking age
consumers; the Boomer generation is still important but
will age out; social moderation is on the rise; and intense
competition and threats exist both within and beyond
the beverage alcohol sector, such as anti-alcohol health
Premiumization continues, but not like in recent years
or during COVID. Brager said the $11-$25/bottle price
segment provides a good combination for affordability
and growth prospects, and relatively speaking, is doing
Page 2 | January/February 2024
well at retail along with 375ml glass bottles and some
alternative packaging such as bag-in-box and Tetra
paks. Key consumer drivers and attributes for successful
brands include: flavor forward, convenience (packaging
and where they buy), experiential and experimental,
wellness-driven (healthier lifestyles, sustainability),
transparency, and simplicity/less pretentiousness. Brager
advised, " Meet consumers where they are, not where
you want them to be, and consider how to make your
brand more approachable. " He suggested, " Partner/
collaborate with others within the industry (trade groups)
and with others beyond wine that have shared interests. "
Global Trends, Strategies
Turrentine Brokerage President Steve Fredricks
said global supply trends include: an overall wine
consumption decline, the white wine market is more
in balance, there is an excess of red wines, vineyard
acreage is being removed in more countries including
France and Chile, exports of volume/bulk wine are
challenged, and there is more imported bottled wine
competition. " Wine supply is back in excess and that
always means wineries are having to compete on price,
and this creates downward price pressure that is felt
at both the winery and grower levels, " Fredricks said.
This is Fredricks' fifth excess market in his nearly 35
years in the wine business. He said, " Excess markets
are challenging, but we can move past excess if buyers
and sellers align and work together. " Short-term lower
prices can stimulate innovation and increase pressure
to evaluate the economic viability of vineyards in more
locations. Fredricks suggested considering ways to grow
consumer demand, such as creating new products with
different packaging and promoting sustainable and
organic products. He advocated coordinated efforts to
push back on the anti-alcohol narrative, a global issue
receiving more headlines, and suggested the industry
promote the use of wine in moderation with a healthy
Providing an international perspective, Susana GarciaDolla,
managing director of Interprofesional del Vino
de Espana, the national wine organization of Spain,
said Spain's wine industry came together to create and
implement a marketing plan, " Strategy 2022-2027: The
Roadmap to Success. " Spain has more vineyard acreage
than any country in the world (13 percent of world total),
the most organic acreage, and its wine sector accounts
for 2 percent of national employment and 2 percent of
Spanish GDP. Garcia-Dolla observed, " We have a world
of opportunities, but we've had to face some facts. " The
industry is highly fragmented across its supply chain,
supply and demand are unbalanced, and there is a
high dependence on export as domestic consumption
declines. The organization performed a detailed SWOT
Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and
Threats) then created a plan with priorities and an
implementation schedule. " Key priorities are to promote
wine in moderation as part of a healthy lifestyle, act to
broaden the wine value chain and generate value for the
whole sector, " Garcia-Dolla said. Information on the plan
can be found at

The Crush Jan/Feb 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush Jan/Feb 2024

The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 1
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 2
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 3
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 4
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 5
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 6
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 7
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 8
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 9
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 10
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 11
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 12
The Crush Jan/Feb 2024 - 13
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