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Luxury wine sales decline

Luxury wine sales decline

Sales of luxury wines are declining, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal and Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

One-two punch for grape harvest
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
August 28, 2010

The 2010 grape harvest that started last week is one for the history books – and for all the wrong reasons.

The economy has decimated grape prices and stalled sales, and Mother Nature continues to deliver one nasty blow after another.

About 20 percent of Sonoma County’s grapes are still unsold, with only a few weeks to go. In normal years, nearly everything is usually sold by this point. And when grapes are selling, the prices for some varietals have fallen nearly in half . . .

During the boom years, many people were willing to pay $50 or more for a bottle of wine. That drove up the price of North Coast premium grapes.

But the recession began eroding that high-end market . . .

To read the entire article,
visit the Press Democrat website.

Luxury Wine Market Reels from Downturn
Wall Street Journal
July 8, 2009

ST. HELENA, Calif. — Many of America’s high-end wineries are reeling from the economic downturn, as even wealthy drinkers slash spending on fine wines.

The slump comes as Americans continue to drink more wine overall. Recession-weary consumers, however, are buying more mid- and low-priced wines, causing a sharp falloff in sales of wines priced at $25 a bottle and higher.

The shift is pinching the profits of luxury vintners in Napa and Sonoma counties and forcing many to cut prices and seek new distribution channels. Some hard-hit wineries have quietly put themselves up for sale . . .

To read the entire article,
visit the Wall Street Journal website.

Grapes go unsold
Santa Rosa Press Democrat
July 9, 2009

. . .
The recession has cut consumer spending on wine, especially at the high end, and wineries are responding by making less of it . . .

Battered by shrinking demand for luxury wine and rumors early on of a big crop, some varieties are now selling for about half of what they did last year — if they sell at all . . .

Growers of premium grapes are especially concerned as a “chic to be cheap” mentality appears to take hold, he said . . .

To read the entire article,
visit the Press Democrat website.

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