When winemakers ask me what’s new I often reply, well, lots. New brands are popping up like mushrooms on an over-watered lawn.
Then I cite this figure (which we checked in our database): In the past year--August 2005 to August 2006--we recorded 261 new brands just in California. (A new brand is one label, but it could make many different wines).
Just since January 2006, we’ve added 161 new California wine brands to our database.
It’s not uncommon for these new brands to be Pinot Noir specialists, with five or six bottlings. Some of the newbies have only one wine (imagine that), but it’s typical for upstarts to have two or three wines.
This escalation of new brands startles vets. They know the world isn’t standing still, but it’s startling to realize it is spinning faster than they might realize.
We at Wine Spectator typically review upward of 12,000 individual wines each year, and, to be sure, many of those brands (Chateau St. Jean, Chateau St. Michele, Robert Mondavi, Ravenswood and many more) have multiple offerings. Heck, Loring Wine Co. is approaching 10 bottlings.
On a global scale, it's hard to say how many brands we review each year, but it might be as many as 6,000 to 7,000, or it could be fewer.
In the scheme of things, though, I wonder how many individual brands exist and are sold in the United States. Impact Databank's 2005 U.S. Wine Market report says that 7,000 wine brands are sold in the United States, and 96 percent of them sell less than 100,000 cases.
But what about all the tiny brands that don't register on the national market--those that produce only a few hundred cases or are located in places like North Dakota and Iowa? I’m tempted to say there's at least 20,000, but some of my colleagues say it’s probably considerably higher.
What is your guess, and does somebody out there have a firm grip on what that number is? Or at least a close approximation?
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — August 14, 2006 7:13pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — August 14, 2006 7:19pm ET
Mark Mccullough — GA — August 14, 2006 9:03pm ET
Alex Salomon — Paris, France — August 14, 2006 10:38pm ET
Michael Culley — August 15, 2006 3:21am ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — August 15, 2006 9:55am ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — August 15, 2006 10:35am ET
Michael Brill — San Francisco, CA — August 15, 2006 11:11am ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — August 15, 2006 3:20pm ET
David A Zajac — August 15, 2006 3:20pm ET
William Newell — Buffalo, NY — August 15, 2006 4:02pm ET
James Laube — Napa, CA — August 15, 2006 5:43pm ET
Tom Glover — The Woodlands, TX — August 15, 2006 6:14pm ET
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — August 15, 2006 6:25pm ET
Steven Mirassou — Livermore, CA — August 15, 2006 6:40pm ET
David A Zajac — August 15, 2006 8:07pm ET
Adam Lee — Santa Rosa, CA — August 16, 2006 8:37am ET
David A Zajac — August 16, 2006 11:34am ET
Mark Mccullough — GA — August 17, 2006 8:04pm ET
Mark Mccullough — GA — August 17, 2006 8:39pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions