Last week I was able to attend a conference in Napa that focused on the financial side of the wine industry. There were a lot of the big players from the industry who attended: wineries with high price tags, companies that own multiple wineries, etc. One of the main topics that continued to be discussed was "with a shaky economy, are people willing to spend as much on wine (and how will that affect us)?" Now, keep in mind that many Napa Cabs easily come out at over $100 per bottle. It is somewhat of a different ball game down there...
The research company Wine Opinions did a presentation on a survey they conducted within the California wine industry. Respondants were from wineries, restaurants, retail outlets and distributors. One of the questions was "Many people are 'trading down' and are not willing to spend $50 - $100 on a bottle of Napa Cabernet. What region provides the best quality to value ratio for bottles under $50?" Guess who won? Washington. 24% of the respondants (from within the trade!) felt that wines from Washington state provided the highest quality for the price. Washington even beat out Napa wines under $50.
On the way home, I saw a headline in the paper that read CONSUMERS STILL WANT IT BUT IT HAS CHANGED. The article was actually about 'trading down' on items like designer purses, but I felt that it really applied in this situation as well. People want to feel like they are getting something great, but may not care so much about the label as they do about the quality of the product.
Everyone we talked with down there felt that wineries like Fidelitas really are in that category of quality and value. The wines are still special, there is still a price tag involved, but they are filled with Charlie's experience and outstanding grapes rather than just a designer name.
This is kind of a funny time to share this picture, but if nothing else, we know that people are still enjoying themselves in a shaky economy. This was sent to me by a member who brought some Fidelitas on a trip to the Mayan Riveria.