Consumer thirst for premium-priced wine and home delivery of luxury-priced wine drove double-digit growth in U.S. wine sales through August. Cabernet Sauvignon, the top-selling red varietal, was a cornerstone of the growth. U.S. wine sales totaled $3.1 billion in August 2017, up 14 percent from August 2016, according to market research firm bw166. Domestic table wines drove the growth, rising 14 percent to $2.9 billion. Yet the category also includes sales of domestic sparkling wine and bulk imports, which increased 9 percent and 24 percent, respectively.
The world’s leading alcohol producers, including Diageo, Pernod Ricard, and Bacardi Limited, have pledged to develop “robust” new responsibility standards for digital marketing. Signed by the heads of 11 leading beer, wine, and spirits companies, the document outlines their intention to “create rigorous standards” for the industry by working with internal marketers, agencies and social media companies. The standards are designed to “reassure others” that advertising is only directed to “adults who can lawfully buy our products.”
Following wildfires, winemakers and experts are concerned about the possibility of smoke taint in Oregon’s 2017 vintage. In Southern Oregon, the Chetco Bar, Miller Complex, and High Cascades Complex fires threaten large swaths of the Rogue Valley and Umpqua Valley, according to the Oregon Wine Board. In the Columbia River Gorge, the Eagle Creek fire has brought several smoky days and left ash across vineyards in that region. For now, the Willamette Valley has seen little to no smoke, but several weeks remain in the wildfire season.
About 500 people attended Saturday’s Sonoma County Wine Auction, held at La Crema Estate at Saralee’s Vineyard in Richard’s Grove. The auctioneers sold lots that fetched a record-breaking $5.2 million, up from last year’s take of $4.7 million. By comparison, Auction Napa Valley had a weekend take of $15.7 million in June, and the Naples Winter Wine Festival raised more than $15 million in January at its live auction.