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From: lewis.perdue@wineindustryinsight.com

Subject: Carneros Vintners Struggles, 81 of Largest 100 Brands Stagnant or Declining - WINE INDUSTRY INSIGHT

Date: 2009-08-05 22:01:07

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EMAIL EDITION - VOLUME I, NUMBER 111 - August 6, 2009

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  • 81 of Largest 100 Brands Stagnant or Losing Market Share - Winners and Losers For June/July


  • Carneros Vintners Struggles To Get Custom Crush Facility Ready for 2009 Harvest 


  • Disappearing Restaurants = Vanishing Fine Wine Sales?


  • IBG Begins New Vine Management Transition


  • 5,000 pot plants confiscated near Sonoma Vineyards



  AND  Miramont Estate: Put our prize-winning wine in your bottles

Carneros Vintners Struggles To Get Custom Crush Facility Ready for 2009 Harvest

Carneros Vintners is struggling to get its million-gallon custom crush facility in Sonoma ready for the 2009 harvest. But spring rains and a raft of yet-to-be-approved building and regulatory permits make that less likely with each passing day.

Crush started the first week of August in 2008, but cooler-than-average temperatures should make 2009 a more average year with Pinot Noir starting to come in closer to the third week in August. Despite this break, owner Dennis Rippey and his son, Tyson (who is managing the project), face an extremely tough challenge.


Because late spring rains delayed the beginning of the facility’s construction, Carneros Vintners hired Steve Martin Associates, Inc. (SMA), to help coordinate and expedite the process.

SMA’s web site says that it has worked with more than 150 winery projects. According to the web site, “Over the years, Steve Martin has developed strong productive relationships with County, State and Federal agencies involved in the review and permitting of building projects. These relationships and the resulting trust that SMA has earned means that SMA projects are streamlined through the permitting process with minimal delays to the construction schedule.”


While Carneros Vintners does have a use permit for the production of a million gallons of wine per year, a check of Sonoma County’s online permits and inspection database shows few inspection approvals on any of the issued building permits.

Indeed, as of Aug. 5, none of the dozen main building permits had received final approval.

And while a number of smaller building permits are in a pre-final stage the primary building permit for the main facility (BLD08-5181) showed inspection approvals on just two items of several dozen inspections: foundation clearance and the installation of the electrical meter.

Items which have been inspected but not approved (or which have partial approval) include those for:

  • foundations
  • underground utilities
  • retaining walls
  • underfloor electrical
  • underfloor plumbing
  • rough electrical
  • rough mechanical
  • rough plumbing
  • rough frame
  • close-in

Current status of building permits can be checked here.

A PRMD representative said that “absolutely no occupancy or business activity” would be allowed until all permits were finalized.


In addition to delays on building permits, Carneros Vintners has yet to receive approval for its federal and state alcoholic beverage permits.

According to the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, Carneros Vintners has a pending application dated May 22 for a winegrower and public warehouse permits. Approval, the ABC said, would not be granted until the facility was finished and available for inspection.

In addition, the most recent list of bonded wineries available from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) has no mention of Carneros Vintners. A TTB representative said that proposed facilities must be completed “with bonded and non-bonded areas clearly demarcated” before a permit could be granted.


As previously detailed by Wine Industry Insight, the land and buildings for Carneros Vintners are actually owned by CCC Vinreit, LLC., a unit of Kansas City, MO-based Entertainment Properties Trust (NYSE: EPR). EPR has agreed to lease the facility back to Carneros Vintners on a 10-year, triple-net lease that also provides for two, 5-year options.

According to EPR’s 10-Q report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 28:

“Through June 30, 2009, the Company has invested approximately $7.7 million in this project for the purchase of land and development in Sonoma County, California, and has commitments to fund approximately $0.8 million of additional improvements. Development costs are advanced by the Company in periodic draws. If the Company determines that construction is not being completed in accordance with the terms of the development agreement, the Company can discontinue funding construction draws.”

WII previously published an extensive interview/profile with EPR CEO David Brain. The complete interview is available to VIP Premium Content Subscribers.


Despite numerous attempts over the past 10 days by Wine Industry Insight to get details and comments and include the company’s perspective, no one from Carneros Vintners responded by publication time.

Hinman & Carmichael,Alcoholic Beverage Law

81 of Largest 100 Brands Stagnant or Losing Market Share - Winners and Losers For June/July

Eighty-one of the Top 100 wine brands have either stagnated or lost market share according to Wine Industry Insight’s analysis of data from Information Resources Inc. (IRI)  for the four-week period ending June 14, 2009 over the same period last year.Stagnation is defined as a share gain of less than one-half of one percent.

VIP Subscribers click here to read the complete, un-redacted article.


Overall, the total market share for the top 100 accounted for 74.5 percent of the table wine category, a hair above the previous period’s 74.4 percent.

In addition, 43 of the Top 100 showed sales declines for the period. That compares with 41 declining in June, 37 showing sales declines in May, 25 losers in April and 47 in March.

(VIP Subscribers can click  this link or on the images below to download the Excel file for all of the 100 largest brands for the current 4-weeks, sorted by sales performance and market share.)

Click to Download full Excel Spreadsheet

Click to Download full Excel Spreadsheet

(VIP subscribers can click this link to get the spreadsheet for May and June.)


Half of the top 10 largest brands managed to increase both market share and dollar volume for the four-week period versus the same period in 2008. Those brands were:

(The remainder of this section is available to VIP Premium Subscribers)


Of the remaining brands in the top 10, only #5, Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi, barely remained in positive share territory, gaining a scant 0.0064 percent increase. It did, however, manage a modest 4 percent gain in dollar sales.


The final four Top 10 brands found themselves at the bottom of the sales and market share lists, losing in both categories:

(The remainder of this section is available to VIP Premium Subscribers)


The top ten winners — mostly among the smallest brands by overall revenues — made substantial gains.

Click for Excel spreadsheet

Click for Excel spreadsheet

Bay Bridge Vineyards was the top brand winner in June, gaining 207.8 percent. They were followed by:
(The remainder of this section is available to VIP Premium Subscribers)


Pepperwood Grove remained at the very bottom, losing 36.7 percent, worst than its -31.9 percent in June.

Rounding out the bottom ten:

(The remainder of this section is available to VIP Premium Subscribers)

Not a subscriber?
Subscribe now, and get the rest of this original article along with the spreadsheet and everything else on the site every day, including the Data Cellar for just $9.99 per month or $115.88 per year. Click here for more details.

 Wild Rose Vineyards: Quality Custom Crush

Disappearing Restaurants = Vanishing Fine Wine Sales?

The disappearance of thousands of restaurants could offer one possible explanation for the on-premise drop in fine wine sales, according to Susan Kleutsch, director of product development-foodservice at The NPD Group which tracks sales across a wide variety of consumer industries.


VIP Subscribers click here to read complete, un-redacted article.

While wines selling for more than $25 retail have been growing in supermarkets and other outlets, anecdotal reports from high-end winemakers report dramatic declines. Specific brand and other hard data for on-premise consumption are not tracked by scanner data and provide challenges to quantifying the extent of sales declines of high-end wine.


More than 5,000 independent restaurants overall have gone out of business, a decline of 1.7 percent since spring 2008. Hardest hit, however, were independent, fine dining establishments.

(Redacted. Details available for VIP Premium Subscribers)


“The recession appears to have weeded out restaurants performing poorly prior to the economic downturn,” Kleutsch said, “and this seems most true for independents and smaller chains that are likely having a hard time competing with the resources and marketing power of major chains.”


In terms of restaurant unit counts by U.S. Census Regions, declines ranged from no growth to down -2 percent. The hardest hit is the West North Central Census Region, where units declined by -2 compared to last spring. On the other end of the spectrum, unit counts were flat in the East South Central, West South Central, Mountain, and Pacific regions.

IBG Begins New Vine Management Transition

Inertia Beverage Group has begun its integration of upper-level personnel by offering positions to all of New Vine’s former executives.

“We offered roles to all New Vine management,” said Ted Jansen, IBG’s President & Chief Executive Officer. “Two of those that we offered roles to — Katie Hoertkorn and Josh Langford — declined our offers in order to pursue their other interests. The other members of the management team all accepted roles with IBG and we are in the process of integrating teams. We want to thank Katie and Josh for their passion and hard work at New Vine and we wish them all the best as they start the next chapter of their careers.”

5,000 pot plants confiscated near Sonoma Vineyards

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat has reported that narcotics detectives uncovered a multi-garden marijuana operation just outside of Sonoma on Highway 116 early Wednesday morning, confiscating 5,000 plants and taking two people described as guards into custody.

The gardens were located in rolling hills to the west of Stage Gulch Road in an area surrounded by vineyards and covered with woody vegetation.

The marijuana plants were in the process of being harvested, said Lt. Sandy Geaslin with the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department.

Read the rest.


August 05, 2009
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  • Constellation Brands to Hold Institutional Investor Meeting
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  • Fresno Co. Farm Bureau honors ag journalism
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  • Grapegrowers Fight Apple Moth
  • Cork a Key to Success in US Market
  • To Go Upscale, Put a Cork in It
  • A Very Good Year for Virginia Vintners
  • UK: Majestic Position Themselves As Hard Bargainers With Wine Parcel Exclusive
  • Grapes off the beaten terroir
  • New and emerging wine regions
  • First unsulfured Champagne released
  • WA: Pasco man creates film about Washington wines
  • Wine and Spirits / Good news for novices
  • Shaking up a wine list
  • The one that (almost) got away
  • Method Man's pellets bring lawsuit from fan
  • Rodney Strong Vineyards Named Wine Maker 2009 For The 26th Annual
  • Beaujolais Shows Its Complex Side
  • The International Sommelier Guild Announces Eight New Level-3 Sommelier Diploma Graduates in Its First San Diego Graduating Class
  • August 04, 2009
  • Political veteran Hatfield to lobby for California wine industry
  • ETS Laboratories & Scott Laboratories, Inc. Open Healdsburg Office
  • Copia plan goes to a vote
  • IntoWine.com Launches Food and Wine Pairing Tool
  • Alcohol consumption linked to increased cancer risk
  • NJ wine/spirits tax hike in effect
  • UK: Wine investors benefit from Web-based trading platforms
  • New EU wine regulations in force
  • Central Valley to bake under repeated heat waves
  • Finding cool wines in Northern Ohio
  • OR: Wine and food on the far
  • NY: Heron Hill Winery makes Travel & Leisure's Top 10 list
  • OR: Cheers, to sipping down prices of some fine wine
  • Experience Tuscany's biggest wine festival
  • Julia, Judith and me: a recipe for success
  • Is organic wine healthier and tastier?
  • Martha Stewart using wine
  • OR: Local winery launches 'clunker-wines' promo - Mail Tribune
  • Grapegrowers trying to map their local history
  • AR: Wine and grape course new part of ATU-Ozark schedule
  • Outstanding in the Field brings the table to the farm
  • Blend and bottle your own vino locally
  • Farmer, chef, biodynamic winery team for seasonal dinner at Quivira
  • Bargetto Winery wins best merlot in state
  • August 03, 2009
  • UK: Naked Chef Meets Naked Wine
  • MA: 1945 bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild Stolen
  • California steps up efforts to prevent heat-related deaths among Farmworkers
  • Oz: Australia grower collapse causes creditor concern
  • Don Sebastiani & Sons restructures, to spin off key wine units
  • TTB and Alternating Proprietors
  • Banker, Pop Music Producer Sign Up to Produce Own $33 Bordeaux
  • UK: New champion in under-age booze purchasing fight
  • Oz: Winery told to pay $440K compo to flautist
  • NY: Rain worries vineyard owners
  • DeLoach Launches Bag-in-Barrel Pinot
  • UK: New wine website to encourage experimentation
  • Winner of Pa. wine kiosk deal has ties to Rendell
  • N.J. boosting its tax on liquor, wine today
  • Wine: Trendy malbecs awash in complexity
  • Qatar Airways Wins World's Best Airline Wine List
  • Wine labels once omitted the best part
  • NY: Fewer Wine Grapes
  • CO: Boulder Couple Makes Wine Hobby Into Profession
  • TX: Frisco at center of Denton County alcohol sales lawsuit
  • Octavian Vaults plan Hong Kong expansion
  • Country stars take a shine to winemaking
  • OR: Cheers, to sipping down prices of some fine wine
  • Destination: Geyserville
  • Growing Even Greener: Symposium in Hopland
  • World takes an interest in NZ's $1 million fund
  • Keeping an eye on prices and weather: Grape growers focus on ...
  • Wine, cherries make Michigan a delicious place
  • Illinois wineries offering more than wine to attract customers
  • NY: Fest of wine brings a sublime time
  • New Exposure through Native Roots - Napa Vintner Makes Inroads ...
  • Wine 101: Ortman is more than a vintner
  • Profits drop for Constellation
  • IN: Vintners represent city well
  • David Hill Winery and Vineyard value priced and local
  • Take A Break From Signature Grapes
  • French wine industry saved by Denison resident
  • Tom Ross: Repent your zins tomorrow
  • Canada: Protest stomps on foreign grapes
  • NZ: Bon Voyage to viticulture exchange students
  • MO: Viniculture becomes refuge from recession
  • Gewurztraminer's passionate California devotees

  • ================= CONTACT DATA ====================
    Lewis Perdue
    670 W. Napa St., Suite H, Sonoma, CA 95476
    Phone: 707-326-4503, fax: 707-940-4146
    Email: lewis.perdue@wineindustryinsight.com