California Wine courts indies

05 March, 2010

Californian wines present a great opportunity for independents even though some producers have abandoned the UK in the face of deep discounting and the recession, says the California Wine Institute.

UK director John McLaren said: “?In the end, 2009 saw some growth for the wine trade here by volume and value – albeit to some extent by way of ocean-deep discounting and routine duty increases – but at least the consumer is not deserting us.

“California’s part in this involved a good deal of pragmatism – one or two wineries concluded that, if they couldn’t make money here, then they should make it elsewhere. I daresay a similar conclusion may be drawn by many more producers from around the world whose target is the multiple retailer,” he said.

McLaren found independents satisfied the organisation’s need for diversity? “?indicating further potential for growth on the high street”.

He added that a kaleidoscope of inspiring wineries? “can find expression in this market via a new wave of independents eager to demonstrate their character and individuality. This sector, and a resilient restaurant trade, will be an effective route to market for the majority of California’s smaller producers”.

His comments came ahead of the annual California trade tasting, which takes place on March 15.

Full tasting preview, page 35

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