Vines reports the U.S. wine market was worth about $62 billion in 2016. Of the top 10 distributors on this latest listing, the top three startlingly account for nearly $30 billion in wholesale wine movements. At the top spot, accounting for $16.5 billion in revenue, is Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits in 36 states. Next is Republic National Distributing Co. in 22 states, and third is Breakthru Beverage in 15 states
Northern Nevada-based beer wholesaler Crown Beverages ceased operations on June 30, 2017. The shuttered Nevada wholesaler, which delivered a variety of domestic, import, and craft beers throughout the northern part of the state, is still in the process of winding down operations at its warehouse, according to the employees. Some companies that were partnered with Crown Beverages is now partnered with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, as it recently acquired the rights to distribute about 500,000 cases of beer from 10 companies, including: Sierra Nevada, Pabst Brewing, Diageo, Stone Brewing, Sapporo, Lost Coast, Gambrinus, BJ’s, and Moosehead.
Bruno Prats, co-owner of Prats & Symington, said that he would describe Douro’s 2017 harvest as “hot, dry, and very early.” In fact, he believes it is the earliest harvest ever conducted in the region with picking commencing on August 28 and ending August 21. He also says that he is not happy with the volume, but is happy with the grapes, and that if it continues to be dry in the following years, he may need to consider irrigation.
In Napa and Sonoma, the excessive heat didn’t affect grapes for sparkling wines or whites harvested earlier in August, but cabernet is in the crosshairs. Elsewhere in America, wildfires threatened grapes in California’s Mendocino, Lake, and Santa Barbara counties, coming within 50 feet of the famous Bien Nacido vineyard, and left a smoky pall over vines in parts of Washington State and Oregon, where the harvest started last week. Oregon is expecting a fairly large crop, but the concern in both states is possible smoke taint on the grapes. In Europe, because of devastating spring frosts, hailstorms, and heat waves, France will harvest its smallest crop since World War II. Italy, too, will have one of the smallest wine harvests in 60 years, with regions down 10 percent to as much as 40 percent. In Germany, spring frost took its toll on quantity, and in Austria, 2017 will be average, with very ripe grapes and wines with slightly higher alcohol. In Spain, hailstorms and extreme heat caused 20 to 30 percent fewer grapes, and some regions were particularly devastated, such as Ribera del Duero, which is down 60 percent, although though the quality looks good.