Hey, Napa Cab. Yeah, you.
You better watch yer back!
That’s the underlying theme that I gleaned from a recent report by research group Wine Opinions. The report was introduced at the last Wine Industry Financial Symposium in Napa. There’s been a good amount of interesting discussion on the ‘Global Interwebs’ about the report’s list of top wine bloggers, measured by how frequently the blogs were visited by the wine industry respondents who contributed to the report survey. I should note that the top 2 bloggers in the report (Eric Asimov and Eric Orange) aren’t technically bloggers… which probably says something about wine blogging but that’s fodder for another post (or another blogger)…
Anyway, the report, titled Tracking the Trends of the Wine Trade, collects the views of wine trade insiders (mostly male, and mostly Boomers) on the current state of affairs in the world of wine. Outside of the report’s take on the movers & shakers of the wine blogging community, not much has been mentioned about the report’s implications on the wine industry itself, and on Napa wine in particular, or more specifically on Napa Cabernet.
This is where it helps to know one of the report’s participants, because the report potentially says a lot about how the wine industry, and its customers (that’s you) are viewing Napa Cab right now. The Wine Opinions report has a message for Napa Cab.
And that message is… Watch your back… Washington is fast at your heels…
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By now, you’ve heard of the Millennials. Much has been written about this next generation of wine consumers, who according to NPR average 80+ text messages a day, have more disposable income (excluding mortgages) than their parents, are just reaching the legal U.S. drinking age, and are poised to displace Baby Boomers as the next big thing in wine consumption. Hell, even I’ve written about them.
While we have heard quite a bit about Millennials’ wine drinking, we haven’t heard much about Millennials taking an active part in wine making. Nor have we heard how Millennials involved in the wine industry view the buying habits of their peers.
Until now, that is.
I recently caught up via email with certified Millennial Hailey Trefethen, daughter of John and Janet Trefethen. Yes, that Trefethen, the “didn’t they win Best Chardonnay in the World back in the late `70s?” Trefethen. Hailey, along with brother Loren, has recently joined in the day-to-day involvement of the Trefethen wine business and while she’s not making the wine itself, she’s certainly making her presence known within the family enterprise and is a frequent traveling ambassador for her family’s brand.
As you’ll undoubtedly glean form reading the following interview, Hailey is well-spoken, passionate about the family business, and has a keen sense of where the wine industry is headed (not to mention being insightful enough to realize that her generation’s rock music isn’t as good as mine)…
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I’ve penned my first piece for Palate Press, the on-line wine magazine that is taking the global blog-o-world by storm!
Ok, maybe “taking by storm” is a bit of an exaggeration… until I showed up and the party could officially start, that is!
Ok, maybe the whole “the party can get started now” thing is a bit of an exaggeration as well.
Actually it’s a total exaggeration – Palate Press doesn’t need me, they’ve been kicking total ass since their launch earlier this month; I’m just a straggler who finally got around to writing something almost good enough to make a cut into the article rotation. (Since I’m friends with the editor and publisher, they probably let me slide. Just this once.)
Anyway, if you’re interested in my take on the idea of Pennsylvania’s godless, communist liquor control board to poison the economy of the good Commonwealth with wine kiosk machines that automatically dispense bottles of wine after doing some sort of personal scan that I think destroys part of your soul and drains the blood from innocent babies (hint: I’m not a fan of this plan), then head over to Palate Press and check it out!