What We’re Seeing in the 2015 Wine Industry: So Far, So Good (For Now)

What We’re Seeing in the 2015 Wine Industry: So Far, So Good (For Now)

Heading into 2015, Napa Valley and the rest of the fine wine industry was expecting to see some growth. Blogs, articles and studies were issued proclaiming that 2015 was going to be a good year.  In particular, Forbes referenced an industry study expecting an accelerated sales growth in the fine wine category of 14 to 18% in 2015.

Dr. Liz Thach’s February 2015 post titled, “Trends in the US Wine Industry for 2015 – Surging Forward with Renewed Optimism ($37.6 billion in 2014 revenues)” also provided an optimistic deep dive on this topic.

We just passed the halfway point of 2015 and so far, these blogs, articles and studies have on been point…and then some! At Croze, 2015 could prove to be a banner year and the indicators that we’re tracking are mimicking the hype from earlier in the year.

It’s All About the Economy

The premium wine market is rebounding. Before the 2008-09 recession, it was on the rise. It was on the rise in Napa Valley and here at Croze. During the recession, premium wine buyers started looking for value at a lower cost. They looked for great wines in the $17-18 price point; and they found them.

Now that the economy is bouncing back, we’ve noticed those buyers are once again purchasing premium wines. In particular, the bounce back appears in some markets tied to this country’s strongest industries: Information Technology (San Francisco, California), Banking/Financial (Charlotte, North Carolina) and Energy (Des Moines, Iowa).

Hashtag #Wine

We’re also noticing these premium wine buyers are starting to share their finds with their friends via social media, tapping a whole new market of wine buyers. Social connoisseurs turn to social media to learn about brands they may have had at a dinner party, brands that share similar traits with what they like and brands that have a very active social media presence.

Not only has social media expanded our wine markets, it has also created more critics. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogs have given outlets to those consumers who wish to brag about their latest finds, as well to pan finds that they don’t like. But that’s okay. The exposure serves to enrich/engage our whole community.

An Educated Consumer

Today’s wine consumers are not only using social media to share info, they’re using it to learn about the industry and their favorite wines. They want to know more about the wine maker. They want to know more about the vineyard. They want to know more about the winemaking process. And, they want to know more about different regions.

During our travels across the country, we are indeed seeing a more educated wine consumer and as everyone will tell you, a more educated wine consumer only helps us all.

So, for Napa Valley and Croze, things are looking up. Though things could still change in 2015. We’re keeping on eye on news such as Constellation Brands Inc. buys Napa’s Meiomi wine brand for $315 million. Is this the start of a trend? We don’t know but we’ll let you know at the end of 2015.

More to come…

Ciccio in Yountville

I am often asked by customers and friends who visit the Napa Valley which restaurants I recommend.  There is no shortage of fine dining options here in the Valley and, in particular Yountville, where I live.  My number one recommendation is always a small local Italian Restaurant called Ciccio.

What can I say about Ciccio that has not already been said.  They have received critical acclaim from the Travel Channel, SF Chronicle, and just about every other publication that reviews restaurants.  The food there is simple and amazing.  Most of the reviews I have seen focus on the food, as they should.  However, it is the people that keep us going back and giving recommendations.  We are lucky enough to be within walking distance so we dine there often.

The staff at Ciccio are simply fantastic.  Their attention to detail when it comes to hospitality is way above what you expect from a neighborhood pizza and pasta joint.  The crew treats every table as if they are family visiting for Sunday dinner.  Quite honestly, that is the best way to describe the overall vibe here…family dinner.  On most nights you can find the owner there at his table, with his family having dinner.

From the hostess to the servers, everyone makes a point to visit our table and make sure everything is perfect.  They are genuine and accommodating.  For that we make Ciccio a weekly stop and encourage all of our visitors to give it a try.

I could list our favorite dishes and recommend things to try, but why?  Everything on the menu is great.  Pick something that sounds good to you and you will not be disappointed.  Just make sure you order a pre-dinner negroni and a bottle of wine!

Thanks to our friends at Ciccio for providing us such a wonderful neighborhood restaurant.

Pizza at Ciccio
Pizza at Ciccio