We visited the good folks at Fireside Winery yesterday and one of the owners related a story about a vintners conference he attended in California. As only one of a handful of couples (owners of wineries) from outside California they mingled among the crowds of upper crust winemakers/growers who chuckled about Midwest wines (much like the French did of Californians some years ago, I might add) - not really giving them the time of day. So, when our friends were seated for a formal awards dinner, they happened to be seated at the head table with the gods of the industry. The next day, the folks who could not give them the time of day - the day before - were now going out of their way to get to know the new insiders! Interesting.
Here are a few Factoids I pulled from Wine Business Monthly (the magazine - Feb. 2009):
1. Iowa ranks 14th among US states for the number of wineries! (pg. 72)
2. E&J Gallo Winery bottles 67,000,000 cases of wine/year -- 67 Million!! (p. 20)
3. The Coppola Companies bottles a mere 900,000 cases/year -- that's 10,800,000 bottles! (p. 20).
4. "Hot Small Brands of 2008" - #1 Graziano (CA), #2) Four Vines Peasant (CA), #3) Becker Vineyards (TX), #4) Red Tail Ridge (NY), #5) Sojourn Cellars (CA) (p. 62).
Question to consider: What is the relationship between quantity of production and quality of product? Gallo vs. Coppola? Gallo vs. one of the "Hot Small Brands of 2008"? Gallo vs your local winery?
Share your thoughts.