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Australian Wine Brand Secures No. 1 Ranking in U.S. Sales

Yellow Tail rakes in $621 million as total wine consumption records 12th consecutive annual gain

Posted: October 10, 2006

After becoming the largest-selling wine import in the United States by volume in 2003, the Yellow Tail brand became the top wine overall in terms of retail value last year, according to the just-released 2006 edition of the U.S. Wine Market: Impact Databank Review and Forecast. Yellow Tail registered U.S. sales of $621 million last year, moving up from the third spot in 2004. That's about 3 percent of the total $21 billion Americans spent on retail wine purchases last year.

2005 marked the first time that an imported wine has ever held the No. 1 ranking in total dollar sales. California's Beringer and Kendall-Jackson brands had alternated at the top two spots the previous four years, according to Impact Databank, which is owned by M. Shanken Communications, the parent company of Wine Spectator. But in just five years since its introduction, Yellow Tail now accounts for 11 percent of the imported table-wine market by volume.

Americans consumed a record 279 million cases of wine in 2005, besting the prior year's mark for the 12th consecutive time. Overall consumption is expected to increase another 3 percent this year and reach 316 million cases by 2010. If current trends continue, sometime in 2008 the United States is expected to surpass Italy as the second-largest wine-consuming nation worldwide, behind only France. Increases in the number of new "echo-boom" drinkers--the children of baby boomers--will account for most of the market's expansion thru 2015.

Imported brands outperformed domestic wines for the 10th consecutive year, advancing a robust 8 percent in 2005. Most of the wine market's future growth is expected to come from sales of all varietals, both domestic and imported. Red and white varietals are projected to experience steady growth through 2015, at the expense of blush/rosé wines and generics (wines that are not identified by varietal, such as Bordeaux). Chardonnay remains the single most popular variety by far with 59 million cases sold last year, but while Merlot leads all red wines by volume at 28 million cases, Pinot Noir is the fastest-growing variety with a 49 percent gain to 3 million cases sold.


The annual U.S. Wine Market report analyzes the latest trends in the wine industry. Containing more than 400 tables, graphs and maps, this expanded edition consists of results through 2005, the first look at brand forecasts for 2006, projections by origin and category through 2015, and comprehensive charts of varietal and generic wine trends by color and type. The study also provides volume data for 500 brands, rankings of the top 100 wines, the top 25 marketers and much, much more.

For more information about The U.S. Wine Market, priced at $895, and other Impact Databank reports on beer, distilled spirits and the global drinks market, contact Elisa Trapani at M. Shanken Communications, 387 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016; by phone at (212) 684-4224, ext. 339; by fax at (212)779-3366; or by e-mail at etrapani@mshanken.com. For a comprehensive table of contents and a detailed listing of tables and charts, or to print an order form, click here.

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