A story in the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat yesterday caught my eye. The largest wine company in the world, Constellation Brands just bought 5 more wineries for nearly $600 million. This same company, which produces 110 million cases of wine a year, bought the Mondavi group of brands a year or so ago for $1.5 billion.
While the gigantic getting more gigantic makes selling wine to stores and restaurants much harder for wineries like Steven Kent and La Rochelle, it underscores again what we have come to learn...the best part of wine is local.
Being local is not the same thing as being close to home, not in the wine business. In the last several years, with the Supreme Court decision in 2005, being local means being able to send a bit more of the winery across more state lines to those who want our small-production wines. It also means, at least for us, that most new relationships we create come about face-to-face.
You come to the Winery, taste our wines, hopefully like them and the experience we shared together, and we get to continue to tell our story to you through each new release. This way of sharing can't be done by the mega-wineries.
All wineries lost shelf space today to Constellation, but a real and true and LOCAL relationship just got that much harder for them.