Sonoma and Napa Get Savvier


I try to keep up with as much of what’s going on in the wine world as I can. I accomplish this by tasting widely, reading widely, and talking with my colleagues in the industry whenever the opportunity allows. While I think I’m far from masterful at such activities, I don’t often find myself blindsided by emerging trends in the wine industry.

But in 2023, when according to the Silicon Valley Bank State of the Wine Industry Report California Sauvignon Blanc was the only grape variety that showed positive sales depletion growth (what distributors actually sell to their retailer or restaurant customers) over the prior year, I can honestly say I never saw that coming.

With that little statistic as the spark, suddenly news outlets within and outside the world of wine were reporting on the state-wide shortage of Sauvignon Blanc grapes, and the fact that bottles were flying off of shelves and wine lists everywhere.

And there I was, thinking to myself, ‘Really?!?’

Dan Petroski is the winemaker behind the Massican brand, which holds the distinction of being the sole white-wine-only producer in the red-dominated Napa Valley. His project was founded with the vision of producing Mediterranean-style wines from Italian grape varieties, primarily from Friuli.

‘I had originally sourced Sauvignon Blanc to blend with Ribolla Gialla and Friulano for my flagship wine Annia, but something about the Sauvignon Blanc and its beautiful pungency kept jumping out of the blend and I decided to bottle it on its own’, recounts Petroski. ‘It quickly became my most sought-after wine. It sells out the quickest and is what everyone seems to be asking for.’

Petroski, who is one of the savviest marketers in the wine business, has long been an observer of the rising popularity of white wines relative to red.

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Source : https://www.vinography.com/2024/02/sonoma-and-napa-get-savvier