Confirmed Growth For The Sparkling Wine Market

imagesThe segment is extremely healthy: the global market for sparkling wines proved to be bullish once again in 2015, as confirmed by research by FranceAgriMer. Production, consumption and trade are all showing growth.

Production continues to rise

Production of sparkling wine reached 19 million hectolitres in 2015, equivalent to 2.5 billion bottles, according to data by Agrex Consulting. It accounts for 7% of global wine production, compared with 5% in 2000. 

Leading producer countries

France Germany Italy Spain
4.38 million hl 2.9 million hl 2.9 million hl 1.6 million hl

Consumption is also on the rise

Global consumption totals 17.6 million hl, up 4.1% on 2005/2014. It is growing faster than consumption of still wines which rose 1.3% over the same period.

Leading consumer countries

Germany Russia USA France
2.9 million hl 2.4 million hl 1.9 million hl 1.8 million hl

Per capita consumption

Germany France USA Russia
4.7 bottles/yr 3.7 bottles/yr 0.8 bottles/yr 2.2 bottles/yr

Exports approach 50 billion euros

7.2 million hectolitres of sparkling wines (> 3 bar) were exported in 2015, equating to 7% of global wine exports. Over ten years, export volumes have almost doubled. Sparkling wines posted 48.6 billion euros in turnover with bottle prices averaging at 6.7 euros/litre, three times the price tag for still wines. Three countries dominate exports: Italy, France and Spain. Italy ranks first by volume with growth of 216% between 2005 and 2015. France leads the way by value thanks to its top end offering Champagne with 55% of turnover for French sparkling wines ascribed to this one appellation. Conversely, French sparkling wines lost ground by volume (-9 points) and value (-10 points) in 2005-2015.

Share of the three leading countries of global sparkling wine exports

Italy France Spain
Volume 38% 24% 23%
Value 20% 61% 9%

Great Britain leads the way for imports

The United Kingdom ranks first by volume with an 18% share but is outstripped by the United States in value terms (19% of imports). 59% of British imports by value come from France. The United States have witnessed soaring sparkling wine imports which have surged by 80% in ten years. The average price tag in the States is high at 9.2 euros compared with 5.8 euros in the UK.

Germany is the second largest importer country by volume, followed by the United States. Prices are low in Germany with the market generating only 10% of the value of global imports. Semi-sparkling wines are the most popular which explains why the average price per litre is just 2 euros.

Source: FranceAgriMer

Wine Review: 2014 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Chardonnay, and 2013 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Pinot Noir

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La Crema Winery

La Crema Winery is a family-owned estate in the Russian River Valley that specializes in Burgundian-style Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from cool climate vineyards found in in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Established in 1979, La Crema quickly gained reputation for quality and consistently fine wines.

The estate is owned and operated by sister duo Laura Jackson-Giron and Jennifer Jackson. Their wines are handcraft, one barrel at a time. This is often reflected in the taste – where you will find balance, finesse and great fruit intensity which comes through in every glass.

A few winemakers developed the “La Crema Winery Style” through the years, including Dan Goldfield, Jeff Stewart, Melissa Stackhouse, and most recently (2010), Canadian Elizabeth Grant-Douglas.

Continue reading “Wine Review: 2014 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Chardonnay, and 2013 La Crema “Sonoma Coast” Pinot Noir”

My Interview with: Olga Bussinello, Director, Consorzio Valpolicella – Italy [Women in Wine Business]

March 8th is International Women’s Day and is a day to celebrate women’s achievements, past and present. March is also women’s history month, a time to note women in history, but also women making history.

Here is my interview with one such woman, Ms Olga Bussinello, the Managing Director of the Consortium of Valpolicella wine region.

The Consortium of Valpolicella was founded in 1924 and includes the growers, producers and bottlers and regulates every aspect of cultivation and winemaking, up to promotion. This great red wine from Verona has shown a positive trend at the guidance of Ms. Bussinello. At year end 2015 it reached a turnover of 310 million euros (a 6% increase over the previous year); and where six out of ten bottles are exported.

Q   How has your life experience made you the leader you are today?

A   I have had very diverse yet complementary life and work experiences. After graduating in law I worked in both public bodies and in private companies, changing workplaces and cities up until six years ago when I began my adventure as Director of the Consorzio per la Tutela dei Vini Valpolicella. The flexibility and courage to understand when my career path had to change direction are what have made me grow.

Q   How has your previous employment experience aided your position at Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   Mainly the period I spent working in the world of agricultural associations in Rome where I got to comprehend the complexity of the relations among the various players in a production chain. Even if there are common goals, drawing together the farming world and the industrial sector is extremely difficult.

Q   What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenure at Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   While the wines have become famous by now, instead, Valpolicella—as in the production area—is not very well known as a rural landscape. Having people get to know its genuine beauty and the history of its places is a very important challenge. Naturally, even for that which concerns the wines you have to work to keep the demand and the appeal of Amarone and the other products of the Valpolicella high.

Q   How do you maintain a work/life balance?

A   You have to reserve the same amount of attention and sensibility to work and family to establish your daily priorities. Work, just like family, is a creature and in a certain sense we have to take care of it. I do owe a lot to my husband who has always supported me and taken my place with my daughters so that I could be relaxed as I dealt with more difficult engagements.

Q   What do you think are the biggest issues for women in the wine industry?

A   The same as in the other industries: the difficulty of covering roles that historically belong to men, the stress of having to demonstrate that you’re always perfect, the inability to form a team with other women. This is the generation which, first and foremost, has to fight stereotypes and ancestral insecurities to prepare the way for the generations to come.

Q   Which other female leaders do you admire and why?

A   Many, citing just a few would be doing a disservice to the others. I like women who focus in well on their role and therefore manage to work in a team. The individualism that has to do with being used to facing many things alone can become a limitation in one’s personal and career growth path.

Q   What do you want Consorzio Valpolicella to accomplish over the next year?

A   I would like to fine-tune a format of wine and territory presentation that I am already working on, which brings out the differences between the terroirs and company styles.

Q   What do you love most about your position as Director for Consorzio Valpolicella?

A   The relationship with the member companies, going to the vineyards and the wineries, understanding the history of each and building new projects with them.

Q   What is your advice for other women entrepreneurs?

A   Don’t ever lose your enthusiasm for your work and think of each difficulty as a challenge that will help you grow

——

The 13th Edition of Anteprima Amarone – Verona

IMG_5933 The 13th Edition of Anteprima Amarone was held in Verona on January 30 and 31st when 74 producers revealed their wines from the 2012 harvest to international press, industry insiders and general public.

This preview was promoted by the Consortium of Valpolicella and was held at the beautiful historical Palazzo della Gran Guardia, Verona.

In addition to tasting, the program included a conference on opening day, moderated by journalist Andrea Scanzi who, together with Christian Marchesini, President of the Consorzio Valpolicella, discussed the Consortium. There was also a technical presentation of the vintage curated by Dr. Diego Tommasi of Cra di Conegliano, along with the performance of the denomination on foreign markets was presented by Denis Pantini of Nomisma Observatory.

Christian Marchesini confirms “the role of the brand Ambassador of the territory in the world of the Great Red Veronese, but mainly is the driving force for the local economy and its tourist exploitation.” He goes onto say: “Unique – Amarone is a wine-icon, a seductive wine”, “fruit of the earth, where 97% of the vines were indigenous. The discovery in recent years of the Oseleta variety and the return to Guyot, is raising more the gap between modernity and tradition, between different styles and corporate philosophies”

Denis Pantini also points out that “According to 35% of the producers, the denomination of origin is the main factor of Amarone success abroad, even before the reputation of the corporate brand (I think 21%) and Italian origin (15% ), In fact, nearly 1 out of 2 producers believe this.”

He goes on to say –

“The leading export markets for Amarone include: USA, China, Russia and Canada. These countries, together with the Northern Europe export 60% of Amarone della Valpolicella.”

“Going into detail of the placement and the Amarone market share abroad, Germany (18%), Switzerland (14%) and Canada (13%) constitute the main countries of destination, followed by the United States (10%), Scandinavia (mostly with Denmark and Sweden) and the United Kingdom.”

In light of the importance that these markets hold, a study on the Canadian consumer was conducted. From this survey by the Wine Monitor Nomisma on 1,200 purchasing managers of households, showed a rate of penetration of Italian red wines of 44%, with a 25% share of red Valpolicella with Amarone 19%.

This study has also shown the the demographics of the Amarone Canadian consumer has a household income of more than $75,000 CDN/YR, has a high level of education and has traveled to Italy. An element that confirms the strategic importance of the enhancement of the Valpolicella area.

“It’s been a difficult year for 2012” said Tomasi

He goes on to say: “It’s the first vintage that marked the real climate change, followed by 2013, 2014, 2015 with an unpredictable climate change and a seasonal change characterized by water stress, so these conditions there will always bring more to the September stage – he concluded – to create the true quality. The Amarone 2012 vintage, with softer wines, fruity, gave great results especially for the last stage of maturation.”

In 2015 Amarone has reached 310 million Euros (a 6% increase over the previous year), calculating that a bottle in six was ​​exported to foreign markets, and will pay a close attention to the Canada market.

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Amarone 2012 Preview
74 wineries represented, with 78 labels, 32 of which were bottled and 46 from the barrel

Some that stood out:

Accordini Stefano Acinatico Amarone Classico 2012 (B) – very promising

Albino Armani Cuslanus Amarone Classico 2012 (C) – beautiful transparency, acidity and elegance – lots of potential

Bertani Amarone Valpantena 2012 (B) – elegance, some high acidity

Cantina Negrar Domini Veneti Amarone Classico 2012 (B) – elegant, classic

Massimago Amarone 2012 (B) – elegant, long finish

Novaya Amarone Classico 2012 (C) – a classic

Peter Zanoni Zovo Amarone 2012 (B) – very dry, great balance with fruit, acidity and taste

Rubinelli Vajol Amarone Classico 2012 (C) – balanced

Zymè Amarone Classico 2012 (C) – some sweetness, yet elegant

 

B = bottle, C = barrel sample

http://anteprimaamarone.it.

liz-palmer.com

My Interview with Wine Meridian Magazine — Marketing Italian Wines in Canada

Wine Meridian Magazine
What is the main suggestion you can give to Italian wine producers to convey and sell their products in Canada?

Liz Palmer
First you need to know that Provincial Liquor Boards control the import, sale and distribution of wine and spirits in Canada. Here is a list of these monopolies: 

¥ Société des Alcools du Québec (SAQ)
¥ Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO)
¥ British Columbia Liquor Distribution (BCLD)
¥ Alberta Gaming Liquor Commission (AGLC)

Quebec, Ontario, British Colombia and Alberta concentrate on most of the Canadian demand.

Secondly, you must choose an importer who is familiar with Italy, and your specific region.

Thirdly, find an agent who has had experience working with the various Canadian monopolies, especially the Ontario market.

Lastly, also look at choosing someone who is very interested in your products your business and family history.


Wine Meridian Magazine

What is the image of Italian wines in your country (Canada)?

Liz Palmer
Canadian consumers are then keen to taste new grapes varieties and styles, therefore the diversity of Italian wine becomes an advantage.

“Italy ranks #1 in wine sales in Canada followed by the US and then France. In 2014, Canada imported $425-million (CAD) worth of Italian wines. Québec is the largest consumer of Italian wines at 36 percent, followed closely by Ontario at 31 percent and Alberta and British Columbia account for 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively.”*

These figures speak for themselves – Italian wine has never been more relevant.

*Source: Statistics Canada

Wine Meridian Magazine
What do you think about the importance of media and press in the promotion of wine? Especially Italian wine.

Liz Palmer
It’s Important to continually receive regular ongoing coverage in targeted magazines, newspapers, online media and wine journalists.

There should also be a continued focus on educating media and journalists on the 20 wine-producing regions and 350+ varieties of domestic grapes. I think we will all learn a great deal more bout the regions and varieties when we are given more information to process.

In order to engage more in a global audience, the producers should make a special emphasis to include social media in their marketing strategy.

Wine Meridian Magazine
Most Italian wines are unknown because of their difficult designations. What do you think a clear message could be to raise awareness about Italian wines?

Liz Palmer
The best wines in the world (more specifically, Italy) come from specific varieties and places.

Wine Meridian Magazine
Positive points about Italian wines in Canada

Liz Palmer
Canadians have been loyal consumers of Italian wine products for decades. Canada currently ranks 5th in global market sales of Italian wines – these wines accommodate every taste and price range.

The Italian Trade Commission (ITC) does an excellent job in the promotion of Italian wines throughout Canada, as well as raising awareness through education with local wine writers, journalists, sommeliers, and trade.

Wine Meridian Magazine
What do you think about organic wine trend?

Liz Palmer
Not only do organic wines have the potential to be healthier for you, the environment, but they also have the added benefit of tasting just as good.

Here are three reasons why I believe this trend will continue:

Organic wines are produced with almost obsessive attention to detail and the often taste better;

The contain less or no chemicals; and

They are often more socially responsible.