Posts Tagged ‘2012’

 

With the relatively large 2012 crop came the expectation that the 2013 grape market would be less active than last year. That has proven to be somewhat true, but only in the realm of “hyper” activity that leads to rapidly increasing prices.

Grapes are being traded, at least to the extent they are even available, since most of them are tied up under multi-year contracts. However, there is no “reckless competition” for grapes experienced last year. Pricing seems to be at or slightly above last year’s levels.

Depending on the variety, the coastal market is arguably more robust than last year at this point. With much less spot market fruit available, buyer interest is high. Reds in particular have brought great interest in 2013; Cabernet Sauvignon specifically.

Coastal areas outside of the most premium growing regions seem to be bringing the most interest for all varieties. This is due to buyers wanting to purchase great quality coastal fruit that allows them to average down the grape cost of their higher end programs. With that being said, there is much less hyper-activity around Napa Valley Cabernet and Sonoma County Pinot Noir. There is still strong demand, but buyers seem to be more interested in averaging down the cost of their high-end programs rather than fervently competing for additional high-end fruit at historically high prices.

 

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South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

South African wine exports to reach now high in 2013.

 

South African wine exports are poised to beat their 2012 record this year following high yields and on demand for premium vintages from North America and Asia, industry executives and growers said.

Wine exports rose to 469 million liters (124 million U.S. gallons) in the year ending April 30, up 25 percent from the previous 12 months and more than triple the total shipped in 2000, data from the Wines of South Africa trade body, or WOSA, show. Bulk shipments rose 53 percent while those of bottled and packaged wines fell 5 percent, as large producers bottled more in export markets.

Although wine has been grown in South Africa since Dutch settlers arrived in the 17th century, the country was cut off from trade during the apartheid era of racial discrimination, which ended in 1994 with the first all-race elections. Two decades on, exporters are seeking to consolidate in established markets such as the U.K. and Germany while boosting sales in Asia and Africa.

“If you think about South Africa’s history, we’ve been making wine for 350 years but it’s only really since 1994 that we’ve actively pursued the export market, that we’ve been welcome and accepted,” Johan Erasmus, general manager of the Glen Carlou winery in the Paarl Valley north east of Cape Town, said at a London tasting in March. “We are much more in touch with consumers worldwide.”

A wet winter meant plenty of underground water, helping to boost yields in 2013, according to Su Birch, Chief Executive Officer at WOSA. Yields at the 2012 harvest rose to 14.13 metric tons per hectare (2.471 acres), the highest for at least six years, and probably climbed to about 14.90 tons this year, according to estimates based on preliminary data from WOSA.

 

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Undersupply replaced a decade-long era of oversupply with autumn 2012’s harvest and the inevitable prices hikes will hurt the entry-level market. Meanwhile global demand continues to rise.

TWEETS OF the “OMG! We’re going to run out of wine!” variety greeted reports in the autumn of 2012 that grape harvests in the Northern Hemisphere had widely fulfilled predictions of shortfalls across a sweep of major wine-producing regions. This compounded earlier Southern Hemisphere shortfalls at a time when global consumption is growing. Without question, the headline figures made for sobering reading, especially after a decade or more of oversupply being the norm.

As 2012 European harvest volumes were confirmed, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) estimated that total global output had fallen from 264.2 million hectolitres in 2011 to 248.4m hl in 2012, representing the lowest level since 1975, when the body began tracking these figures.

 

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The 2012 Vintage report...

The 2012 Vintage report…

 

Although it is still too early for a clear consensus to emerge among the Champenois, a good number are getting so excited after the recent assemblage of the 2012 vintage that it is even being compared to those of 1959, 1969 and 1990.

 

Damien Le Sueur, director of production for Taittinger, has led the praise, declaring that “what seems clear about 2012 is that it meets all the requirements to be a great vintage”.

 

Le Sueur told Harpers that his own team’s sense of anticipation dated back to the harvest. “At the end of September, we really had great expectations. In tasting after tasting, we discovered that the ‘vins clairs’ were beautiful.

 

“The harvesting conditions were excellent with perfect weather with freshness in the morning, very healthy grapes and a yield far lower than usual. We have enjoyed working on the assemblage of each of our
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Ouch!

 

Unlike most other wine categories, Champagne sales were not sufficiently buoyed by surging demand from Asia and North America to compensate for declining shipments to Europe in 2012. A large share of consignments are Europe-bound and because of this, the economic crisis hit the region with a full frontal attack.

 

According to Champagne marketing board CIVC, sales of Champagne for the first eleven months of 2012 were down 3.8 percent on the previous year. The fall is primarily due to a drop in sales in France – the region’s largest market – where they declined by 5.2 percent to 144.35 million bottles, though also to falling volumes in Europe. Moving annual totals within Europe dropped by 8.3 percent due to markets such as the United Kingdom and Germany. However, Thibaut Le Mailloux, spokesman for the marketing board, said the figures should be put into perspective: “the downturn comes on the back of two years of strong growth that followed the 2008-2009 financial crisis”.

Fortunately, although many of the region’s sales outlets are in Europe, non-EU countries came to the rescue with a rise of 3.5 percent in sales. The Chinese market may well be geared to red wines, the first half of 2012 saw it reach a turning point with China entering the top 10 export destinations for Champagne for the first time ever. Sales surged by almost 100 percent to 947,713 bottles over the half-year. Fellow Asian market Japan also rose significantly (+26 percent) to over 4.5 million bottles.

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The US wine industry report.

The US wine industry report.

 

Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry Report forecasts 4-8% sales growth in wine for 2013. The report identifies trends and addresses current issues facing the U.S. wine industry, offering data and observations that help that wineries can use to develop their business strategies.

Silicon Valley Bank’s wine report is based on its in-house expertise as one of the largest bankers to the West Coast wine industry for nearly 20 years, a proprietary database of more than a decade of winery financials, ongoing research, and an annual survey of 450 West Coast wineries.

 

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Click to download a PDF of the report:

 

Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic

Click thumbnail to view the full-size infographic

 

 

2012 is a good year!

2012 is a good year!

 

Champagne producers including Dom Perignon and Philipponnat have confirmed they will make a vintage in 2012.

Despite what vignerons at the time called one of the worst growing seasons they had seen for decades, with April frosts, hailstorms, and one of the wettest summers on record, they are highly optimistic for the quality of the vintage.

‘The quality and the intensity are definitely there to make an outstanding vintage,’ Dom Perignon chef de cave Richard Geoffroy told Decanter.com.

Winegrowers said the warm weather in August was a saving grace. As harvest grew closer it became apparent that the small amounts of grapes on the vines were of excellent quality. In September as grapes were picked and pressed, often at close to 11% alcohol, winemakers were amazed by the concentration of flavour, natural sugar and acidity, and talk of a potential vintage began to be widespread.

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Hong Kong wine scene.

Hong Kong wine scene.

 

After climbing steadily over the previous three years, 2012 was not a great one for the wine auction market.

 

Sales of fine and rare wine slumped 19 percent last year, according to Wine Spectator, with worldwide revenues falling from $478 million in 2011 to $389 million last year. However, the details reveal a more nuanced picture, with the numbers coming out of Hong Kong far more grim than those from the United States.
According to the report, auction revenues were down 10 percent in the U.S. and a full 32 percent in Hong Kong. Richard Harvey, the senior international director of wine at Bonhams, attributed the drop in revenues to decreasing prices for Bordeaux wines, particularly Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which was wildly popular in China for a short period before demand cooled in late 2011.

There is, of course, an argument to be made that the wine market is… read on

 

Bulk wine imports more than doubled in the United States this year because of competitive pricing and changing consumer attitudes, according to a new survey from Silicon Valley Bank.
Silicon Valley Bank’s annual State of the Wine Industry survey – published yesterday – noted that bulk wine imports to the US ‘soared’ in 2012 as compared to the previous year, ‘from 13.7m cases, to 31.5m cases, and totalling over 40m cases in the past 12 months.’

According to the survey, the increase is due to higher domestic demand, better access to foreign bulk and favourable exchange rates.

In spite of a high-quality and high-volume California harvest in 2012, survey authors predict a continued increase in bulk imports this year, especially if the dollar strengthens.

Chile, Argentina and Australia were responsible for 75% of all bulk imports to the US in 2012.

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Record exports for SA Wine in 2012!

Record exports for SA Wine in 2012!

 

South Africa smashed its previous record to export the largest amount of wine to date in 2012.

 

The 417 million litres exported last year is a 17% increase on 2011 and 10 million more than the previous record set in 2008.

 The record export year is the result of favourable currency rates, as well as a significant drop in the harvests of competitor regions including Europe, South America, Australia and New Zealand.

 

Bulk exports made up 59% of volumes as local producers strived to compete globally and meet market demands.
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