Interesting article about a grape broker who is suing a vineyard owner for not providing them with grapes ‘as agreed upon’ from last harvest. The interesting thing is that the broker seems to have cancelled the contract in early September, most likely well before the grapes were going to be harvested.

I’ve gotta believe that this sort of things happens all of the time, but this is the first of these types of lawsuits I’ve seen . . .


Hey Larry do you see an oversupply of grapes as mentioned in the article?

Yep, both 2012 and 2013 were huge vintages. There is still a tremendous amount of 2012 bulk wine out there - though not as much had 2011 not been a frost year. And 2013 was a record year, meaning lots and lots of bulk wine now. I don’t purchase the stuff, but I have friends who do - and they are amazed at the ‘deals’ that are currently going on in advance of the 2014 harvest.

And by the way, I’ve heard from a few vineyard owners down here in SB County that initial bud counts are putting yield estimates in the ‘normal to above normal’ range . . .


So what does lots of bulk wine mean for the market in general? Do folks market it as low end blends or where does it end up?


As I said above, I’m not involved in that market at all, but I can tell you what I’ve seen firsthand from others - it often is labeled as if the producer produced it themselves and there’d be no way to know it is ‘bulk’ unless you dug further. Some wineries purchase entire lots and just bottle it as is; some purchase small ‘fill in’ lots used to blend up volume on existing lots, etc . . .


Doesen’t a fair amount of that get shipped to the east coast wineries?

In bumper crop years, it goes everywhere. Remember that there are more grapes than ever being grown on the East Coast as well . . .

It might but the big push is for juice from within the state. There are limits on the amount of juice from out of state that can be blended in before having to lable the wine as USA which few want to do. At least that was the case as recent as a few years ago when I had a couple wineries trying to buy grapes from me and at the time I had all of 250 vines in my back yard. But the lack of in-state fruit was so great that they wanted everything they could get. More vineyards have come on line since then but I am not sure that all of the east coast wineries are meeting demand with grapes grown only in their respective states.

Here’s another grower/winery lawsuit - not sure how this will play out since Fred Constant sadly passed away a few weeks ago.

Both sides…

Trader. Joes. :slight_smile:

Seriously. It’ll be piled on the shelves and they’ll sell it. Comes bottled and they stick a trader Joe or vintjs label with the AVA. Done.

Bingo. Create some pseudo-mysterious story and hint at its origins and the TJ’s customers lap the stuff up.

I bought some Vintjs PG for TW @$8 WA HHH, she liked it and I would have bought a case but they do no case discounts. I guess they do not need to as it was gone when I went to buy more. I also bought a case of Kings Ridge PG for the same person @ $8 which disappeared quickly. There is a big market out there for the non geek crowd. [oops.gif]

Bingo. Create some pseudo-mysterious story and hint at its origins and the TJ’s customers lap the stuff up.[/quote]

Sounds like Garagiste, no?!?!? [stirthepothal.gif]

Trader Joe’s usually operates on very slim margins for their own-labeled wines. There’s no point in giving a case discount.

Though I did frequently get people at my store asking if they could get case discounts on Two Buck Chuck. Just goes to show you.

For those interested, here’s the latest classifieds from Wine Business. Grapes, bulk wine, shiners (wine in bottle without labels), etc.

Is there a business model where people buy bulk wine or grapes and then flip them as shiners?

Some restaurants buy shiners and label as their house wines, also retail stores label as their own brands.

There are businesses that buy/sell bulk wine and/or shiners. Some of their listings are on Wine Business Classifieds - Appellation Trading Company is one that advertises frequently.

Do they get to taste before they purchase?

I would guess they do. If you look at the listings on Wine Business Monthly for bulk wines it usually says if there are samples available. I assume the seller would screen the buyer to make sure they are legit and not just someone looking for free wine.