Great, but very long blog post on Randall’s site. I found it through two wine news outlets I follow: Wine-searcher and Lewis Perdue. Wine-searcher is new to this but seems to being a good job of it. Maybe doing this will help redeem them in in the eyes of all the luxury wine producers who see their price-points getting crushed and exposed on the search bot. Lewis Perdue is certainly someone to follow, he puts out a list of top wine business stories several times a week.
Please visit his site and blog and call the winery to buy some of his wine. Anyone this passionate about his craft deserves our attention. Also watch the speech here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hEZs9pCUK8
So here are a couple favorite bits from Randalls Rant:
anyone who entered the business – as a retailer, wine writer or wine maker – did not harbor the illusion that the wine business was going to make him or her rich. We did it because it was something that we loved. But some “visionary” individuals and companies perceived the possibility of unlimited sustained growth and began to build wine brands and wine empires.5 This, coupled with the consolidation and tumescent growth of a few wine wholesale companies and mega-retailers, has led to a sort of seamless virtual vertical integration of the wine business, with relatively few players controlling essentially the lion’s share of the game – a pretty good mirror of what has happened in the rest of the world economy.
We need to speak up on behalf – this is maybe a little self-serving here, forgive me – of those who are innovating new styles, or preserving something precious: an old style, an old variety, respecting the authority of a great terroir. The reality is that with the consolidation of wholesale and gradual disappearance of fine wine retailers every day, great and maybe just very good producers are losing access to markets. We have to speak up for those wines that don’t have goofy, eye-catching labels, flavor profiles that are not squarely down the Middle of the Road, and will never be floor-stacked in Safeways.8