Western Farm Press. 23 March 2012.Sales of California wine within the U.S. in 2011 grew to a record 211.9 million cases, up 5.6 percent in volume compared to the previous year. The estimated retail value of these shipments was $19.9 billion, according to wine industry consultant Jon Fredrikson of Gomberg, Fredrikson & Associates in Woodside. Global 2011 California wine sales to all markets in the U.S. and worldwide also increased 5.6 percent to 256.6 million cases.
Wine sales in U.S. off-premise measured channels from all domestic and foreign production sources grew 2 percent on volume and almost 4 percent on value, according to Nielsen, a leading global provider of information and insights into what consumers watch and buy. Most of the growth was with wines from California and other U.S. states, up 4 percent in volume, while imports shrunk 1 percent in volume. Within Table wine, Chardonnay remained the most popular with 21 percent of the volume, followed by Cabernet Sauvignon, 12 percent volume share; Merlot, 10 percent volume share, Pinot Grigio/Gris, 8 percent market share, and White Zinfandel, 7 percent market share. The most impressive percentage gains were Muscat/Moscato now up close to 4 percent market share, and growing by 73 percent on volume, and sweet red wines, close to a 1 percent share, with growth over 200 percent. Also of note among varietals with double digit gains were Malbec, holding a 1 percent share, up 33 percent in volume and Pinot Noir, a 4 percent share and growing 12 percent in volume. Blended Red wines also grew at double digit levels and moved up close to a 5 percent market share.
“Wine consumers are adventuresome by nature so Muscat/Moscato became a popular new flavor to try, experiencing the largest varietal volume gain of the year,” commented Danny Brager, vice president of client services for beverage alcohol at The Nielsen Company. The “millennial” consumer, aged 21-34 who make up 26 percent of legal drinking age Americans, continue to be a wine sales growth driver, while Baby Boomers continue to be the largest generations contributor to overall wine sales. Even with the volatile economy, consumers are finding high quality and value in the wine category, and continue to experiment with sweet reds, unoaked wines, wine blends, and other diverse offerings, he explained. read more