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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Gary Vaynerchuk reviews our Barbera!

Just spent two weeks in Southern California peddling our wares, and I'll tell you it is TOUGH out there. Combined with the normal June/July slow down, wine shops, probably literally half of those I visited, flatly stated that they weren't buying anything for at least a month. Most of them can't move anything over $14.99 retail, and the only pricey stuff going is the boring junk like Silver Oak. This filters down to the consumer, and unless you have a newsletter to sell that odd Cotes de Luberon, buying trends are pretty much all by the numbers 10-15 dollar Malbec, Zin, etc. There is a homogenizing effect going on, and as someone who makes oddities like Refosco and Aglianico, this is very, very bad news for us as the retailers are pushing people to be less and less adventurous rather than more exploratory like they should be. I'll have more to say on this in the near future.

The vineyard has been in overdrive. Last years double frost and a hard, cold winter with some May rain has the canes breaking six to eight feet when we only want them at three! A huge amount of handwork will be necessary again to remove laterals and open the canopies back up, even though we already shoot thinned everything. This type of growth is the down side to planting exclusively on drought-tolerant rootstock - you can't have deep rooting without excessive vigor.