If You Read Anything This Week: Wine News 1/17/2020

Bonny Doon sold: Randall Grahm has sold Bonny Doon Vineyard to WarRoom Ventures, a young wine investment company. Grahm will stay on as winemaker and a partner with WarRoom. Grahm, who founded Bonny Doon in 1983, cites his struggles with the business side of the operation. Bonny Doon is currently a 35,000-case brand. [Wine Spectator]

Tariff hearings: Alder Yarrow reports on the tariff hearing conducted in DC on January 7. Those representing the government, he notes, had little idea how the alcohol business works in the US, from the three-tier system to barriers for DTC sales. He includes a link to the full transcripts of the hearing. [JancisRobinson.com]

Oversupply in wine: The new Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry report, released this week, points to oversupply as a major issue for the wine industry. Furthermore, consumer demand has slowed, particularly among younger drinkers. Use of data and new strategies for capturing young consumers will be key for wineries in the year ahead. [North Bay Business Journal]

Drop in consumption: A new report from IWSR shows that the volume of US wine purchases dropped for the first time since 1994. Americans, particularly Millennials, are drinking less overall, and products such as White Claw have taken up market share. However, the report also shows that the amount spent on wine increased last year. [Market Watch]

Accessible wine lists: Robert Joseph argues in Meininger’s that restaurants and sommeliers should make their wine lists more accessible, through descriptions or other means. He notes that while sommeliers can provide helpful guidance on wine lists, many guests—for a wide variety of reasons—won’t seek that help. [Meininger’s]

The wines of Uruguay: Amanda Barnes makes the case for Uruguay’s wines in SevenFifty Daily, describing key grapes and regions as well as new developments. With a mild, Atlantic climate, the country is unique among its wine-producing neighbors. A range of grapes are planted, but Tannat and Albariño are the stars. [SevenFifty Daily]

What do you think?

How do you think wine brands should respond to the oversupply problem?

What strategies do you think should be employed to reach a younger generation of drinkers?

What do you think is ahead for the wine business, considering these reports on last year's trends?

How do you make your wine list accessible? Do you think an average guest should be able to read it and choose a satisfactory bottle without help?

Have you had any standout bottles from Uruguay?

What else have you been reading this week?