The Wine Market Council, a non-profit based in the small Napa Valley town of St. Helena, recently issued new research results that found that U.S. wine consumers ages 21 to 30 are more loyal to imports, while older wine-drinkers prefer domestic labels. Not surprisingly, those in the 21 – 30 year old age group were far more likely to purchase wine online versus those in any other age group–highlighting the importance of having an engaging online presence for domestic winemakers.
While a story in Tuesday’s San Francisco Chronicle painted the findings as potential doom-and-gloom for the U.S. wine industry, it did note that “wine consumption continued its record growth rate in 2006″ and that California accounted for 2 out of every 3 bottles sold last year. Not too shabby if you ask me.
The findings do indicate that those in the U.S. wine industry need to dramatically increase their online presence and sophistication in order to reach the younger generations as they come of drinking age. We think one Napa Valley winery, Goosecross Cellars, has already provided a perfect example of how to do just that with its Napa Valley Wine Radio site.