Drinking Billies: Musician Dave Matthews clearly loves wine, and the wine industry apparently loves him. Matthews not only has a Virginia-based winery called Blenheim Vineyards, but he’s also partnered with Constellation Brands on the Dreaming Tree brand, and the results are impressive. Dreaming Tree is expected to sell 200,000 during Constellation’s current fiscal year, according to this report, a nice start for a brand only in its second year. The label plans to expand its lineup next year with a white blend, according to the report.
Amazon Back in Wine: The online wine business is thriving and online retail giant Amazon wants back in. The company had a stake in wineshopper.com for years, but exited the business in 2009. Amazon is likely driven by the overall size of the market, according to this report. Amazon will team with online compliance expert WineDirect to help them with the back-end online logistics of a wine marketplace.
Cooking Grapes: In California's Central Coast wine region, grape growers are bracing for some more days of intense dry heat. Vintner's are having to deal with triple-digit temperature days during their critical grape harvest season, according to this report from KSBY.com. The heat raises the sugar levels in grapes, the acidity and the alcohol content, which forces the grapes to mature faster. High temperatures can also force the vines to shut down, according to the article. When the vines can't get enough moisture form the ground to hydrate the berries, they shrivel....and nobody likes that picture.
'Big Three' Grew 8%: Here's an interesting read about the results of this year's Wine Industry Financial Symposium, held last week in Napa, California - the 21 year young symposium's mission is to improve communication between wine businesses and sources of capital. The three biggest wine production companies in the United States, 'The Big Three' —Gallo, The Wine Group and Constellation—grew 8% from 2011 on a huge base of 150 million cases. They represent in real terms almost half the industry’s growth, according to the article.