Well, I tried to create a smart illiteration with the title but I think I stretched it. But the spirit is defintely on the mark. Amid all the talk of the disasterous market conditions for French wine making (Vivi’s has our own thoughts for that) all the talk from New World wines is nothing but great harvests, healthy markets, and improving quality. This is good for everyone because the upside is more high quality competition and inevitably lower prices.
While French wine exports fell 10% between January and May, continuing a trend which saw a double-digit decline in 2003, New World wines are thriving. South American Business Information reports that Chilean wine exports increased nearly 20% in the first seven months of 2004. Australian wines are up 10% so far this year and it is predicted by Australian experts to surpass Australia’s traditional exports of wheat, wool, and beef as the country’s top farm export by 2007. In the UK, a list of top 10 wines, compiled by Marketing magazine, did not include a single French wine!
When it comes to top tier quality wines, France still produces some of the best because of the age, tradition of quality, and shear amount of time the producers have had to perfect it. But if there is one thing that experience in the business world will teach anyone, the best methods doesn’t mean the winner. The winner in the wine industry will be those who can produce quality efficiently and, more importantly, listen to what their customers want and provide it for them. That sounds simple enough but its 2004 and the French still haven’t realized that naming wine by the region helps no one and that isn’t changing for another 2 years at the earliest.
New World wines are on the verge of burying the Old World wines in general and don’t kid yourself, they will give the top tier a strong run for their money (many already do). At the end of the day, all this competition and focus on what we all drink and tailoring to us is the true upside because the result will inevitably be better wine at lower prices.
Enjoy the Wine Life!