CaptureThis Coffee Shop article is an excerpt from the Ciatti Global Wine Grape Brokers’ March, 2015 Global Market Update (Volume 6 Issue 3). Here, we focus on the California and USA section of the report. See the full report for global wine market update for countries including Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Chile, France, Germany, Italy,  South Africa, and Spain.

California Market Update

Today’s market is active, but nothing overly impressive. There is interest and movement occurring in both the bulk and grape markets to date. Bulk wine sales have been strong on all coastal appellation Cabernet Sauvignon from vintages 2013 and 2014, along with future year wine contracts. Other red wines (Pinot Noir, Petite Sirah, Merlot) have been moving, but in limited volumes. Any available Pinot Grigio is selling quickly. Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc sales are harder to come by. Older vintages of wine still in tank are a struggle, and risk having little market value as the months move along. Grape sales have been surprisingly active, again in the coastal regions, given that bud break has just begun. Fears of frost and drought will be with us for the coming months.

Current Market Pricing (USD per liter)


Bits and Pieces

The final yeardend Gomberg–Fredrickson0Report was just published.

  • Overall shipments in the US Market grew less than 1%.
  • California sales were up 4%. Declines of value wines continue, bolstered only by strong growth in the premium segment.
  • Sparkling wines continue to advance both domes)cally (+7%) and internationally (+8%). Prosecco sales from Italy have been especially strong (+13%).
  • The “Big Three” producers were flat or down in volume for the first time in recent memory.
  • Craft Beer, Craft Spirits, and Cider categories continue to see superior growth and acceptance, especially in the younger demographics. All have shown doubleddigit increases. This is affecting wine sales.
  • New label entries and innovative packages have proliferated within all price categories. These have helped draw consumer attention, but probably at the expense of traditional old line brands.
  • Bulk wine imports declined again this past year (-16%). Bopled wine import volume was also down (-1%), but increased in value. This supports the overall premium sales increase seen in the US market.