5 Biggest Challenges facing Wine Distributors

Look for these key points in the 5 Biggest Challenges article:

  • Sales Team; If they are happy, they will stay. If they stay, your retail accounts will get good service. If your retail accounts get good service, they will give you a chance and buy your ‘unknown’ brands.
  • Accounts Receivable; AR is a slow killer. Things will look good when you are making numbers, but if you find yourself in a position where you are not paying your sales reps on time or even your wine suppliers on time, that is a problem.
  • Drivers & Delivery Team; they are NOT delivering Pepsi or Bud Light, no one ‘needs’ their brand, so it really helps if they ‘handle the delivery with care’. Good drivers and delivery will make your life easy
  • Support & Merhandising; Learn from the beer distributors, they have mastered the craft of merchandising

South African Wine Producers look to US Markets

Is there an opportunity for South African wines to make a splash in the US market as Argentina, New Zealand have?

Some Growth Strategies for 2014 for Wine Wholesalers

The Growth Strategy 2014 Article gives a case study on a Wine Wholesaler and the advice for correcting the problems with inventory and brands.

Argentine Peso vs. Dollar could affect imports to US

Is this news good or bad? I think for the finer wines it is an opportunity, for the less expensive ones it could hurt.

Membership Annual Wine Shipping Deal

So now the bar has been set… $79 per year for unlimited shipping of wine. Only 10 wineries participating so far, plus one gift basket maker.

Wine Market Council and Nielsen present their annual report on U.S. wine, beer and spirits trends.

This small synopsis of the Alcohol Beverage market has some great points and directions in the wine market if you are in the 15% of the authentic wine industry. Some good news for the 85% of the commercial branded crap too. Just better for the small guys. Especially the Millennial Generation coming of age in 2015! They love interesting wine.

Wine Economy to Improve This Year

Good supply and growing demand well-timed for U.S. wineries

This is an excellent observation that we at noblewines.com and vineclub.org have recognized for years…. She is Francesca Schuler, chief marketing officer of the BevMo retail chain. Pretty amazing insight from a large retail chain executive.

“She advised wineries that price-cutting is becoming the No. 1 weapon in the wine trade. “Pretty soon it is going to commoditize the beverage, as it already has for soup and electronics, if we don’t figure out a better way,” she said.”

“Brand proliferation combined with distributor consolidation made it more difficult to maintain adequate national distribution.” ~ Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates.

Nat DiBuduo, president of the Allied Grape Growers.  “…estimates provided on new acreage by nurseries, 645,000 vineyard acres are planted in California…”
“His organization now estimates the 2013 wine grape harvest in California measured 4.05 million tons, 11% above the four-year average. The region with the biggest gain over average was Lodi, which yielded 925,000 tons, and was 15% over normal. California’s Central Valley yielded 2 million tons.”

Lodi, that speaks to the 85% of big branded “commoditized” wines. So that’s what is growing fastest, not our little 15% of what we call noblewines or noblewine producers.

Should Robert Parker Have Listened to Disraeli?

All I can think of here is Fox News “Fair & Balanced”. Balance is what I look for in wine. I am not sure that Parker cares of such either in commentary or in wine. When I was working as a Chef, I was often invited to Chef Challenges on dishes. I participated in one and realized that elegance and finesse in things that are tasted can only be appreciated next to similarly elegant and finessed dishes. A Dover Sole with a beautiful sauce will not be noticed if in a line-up next to some spicy Mexican or Szechuan dishes. Same goes for wine and commentary, I think.

More on Mr. Parker’s Rant from Steve

I am not sure I can side with Parker or Steve on this. When things are out of balance, sometimes the reaction is too severe in order for balance to be found again.

8,000+ Wineries in North America

The big 4:

California = 3,674

Washington = 689

Oregon = 566

New York = 320

Tom’s Wine Wish Granted

This one is a bit older but the topic is great… Points are loosing out to real wine information and stories about places and people.

Singing the Cabernet Franc Siren Song

I have been a big fan of Cabernet Franc since my early days as a Beverage Director in Stamford Ct. This is where I first experienced the greatest Cabernet Franc at the time Cheval Blanc. Now I can’t afford that so, I seek out Long Island, Trentino, Santa Barbara, Tuscany, Loire, South Africa and other notable Cabernet Franc disciples.

“According to Wine Grapes, the origins of Cabernet Franc are most likely to lie in the Basque Country, where the variety is believed to be a parent of Txakoli grape Hondarribi Beltza.”

Wine Grapes is a great, but very heavy book.