We just finished recording our 2018 year in review podcast. Each year we ask our guests for any predictions for 2019.
What are your predictions for the wine world in 2019? Trends, styles, hot topics?
I'll add a hopeful one: that 2019 is finally, finally the year that wine from British Columbia is available in the US. I'm aware of the many hurdles that have to be cleared, but some of the wine is too good to be basically unavailable just across the border.
Do you have a few top suggestions to keep an eye out for?
I hope you're right about this!
Tantalus! I'm rooting for Ontario too
Wineries that I know are actively trying to get into the US (and are worth checking out if so): Clos du Soleil, Tantalus, Summerhill PyramidOthers very worth checking out if you go up there or they somehow find their way into the US:
Le Vieux Pin, Quail's Gate (actually a tiny quantity in the Seattle and Portland markets at the moment I think), Synchromesh.
That said, there's a whole world up there that I've only scratched the surface on. That said, I have a fair number of wines from BC in my personal collection, if there's enough interest in trying some stuff I'd be happy to open some bottles for folks who are in Seattle for the GuildSomm event on January 14...
In the wake of the Master scandal we will see the first decline in applications/testing at many levels of the Court since the debut of the movie Somm.
I second this. I get the feeling the decline has already begun.
Hopefully wines from Guadalupe, Mexico will gain more traction in the US. I've seen more and more Monte Xanic around the San Diego area but it would be nice to see them spread more openly through the US.
Lots of good stuff already covered here.
The price of Oregon wines will continue to skyrocket, with a lot of growth in varieties besides Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
A bunch of new AVAs will finally get pushed through TTB approval.
Mechanical harvesting will become less of a shameful topic for wineries.
A lot of medium-size US wineries on the west coast will get pushed out of business or into consolidation as the per-ton price of grapes for noble varieties outgrows their ability to hold a price point and their purchasing power. Growth in sub-5,000 case wineries will remain high, but breaking the 10,000 case barrier will become a death sentence unless you plan on making 100,000 cases.
Domestic wine tourism will sharply decline in 2019 in major destination markets.
Nathan Pihl I agree with your prediction of cost per ton hitting a wall against the ability to sell the wines at relative prices. I also agree with your prediction of a decline in wine tourism, but I don’t feel like I have an understanding as to what is driving this. Any thoughts?
Geoff Kruth I'm speaking a bit from conjecture, however anecdotally I think that the cost of winery visits is getting really high for the average consumer in a lot of major markets. Napa Valley is what it is, but there are tasting fees ticking upwards of $25 and $30 in a lot of smaller destinations too. If you read anything from Silicon Valley Bank's Fine Wine Division about some of the research they gather, traffic has started to tick down in Napa in the last year or two, and been pretty stagnant elsewhere, with the one notable exception being the Willamette Valley.
Honestly I think the two issues you responded to may be related if you look at Oregon as an example of bucking the trend. Although the top end of wine there has been astronomical for some time, a lot of the smaller producers there have been able to keep price points for the wines fairly low, especially for the quality of the farming they source grapes from. That keeps costs down for the consumer too on the DtC side. The last price-per-ton data I saw for Willamette Pinot Noir was from 2015, and if I recall correctly the mean and median were both sub $3,000. Certainly there is a lot of fruit being sold for more than that, but how much Sonoma Pinot Noir can you buy for less than $3,000 a ton that is from an established site and really well farmed?
Natural/pure wines will continue to rise in popularity, and you will see cleaner/fresher examples produced.
Hi Josh, I've never heard of "pure wines" before, is it suppose to mean the same as "Natural wines" because talk about being misleading!