Facts and go-figures

Perhaps the most edifying session at the Symposium for Professional Wine Writers included presentations by John Gillespie (Wine Market Council, Wine Opinions), Rob McMillan (Silicon Valley Banks) and Bill Cascio (Glazer’s distribution). Some stats and facts from them as well as Wines & Vines magazine research shared by editor Jim Gordon:

20.3 The number of years it will take to break even when buying a 40-acre lot to plant and building a winery McMillanon the Central Coast (McMillan, left)

11 million The number of Americans who make 90 percent of all wine purchases over $20 and 40 percent of the $10-$20 purchases Gillespie)

9 The percentage growth in direct-to-consumers sales (Gordon)

54-46 The male-female percentages of high-frequency wine drinkers — those who drink wine several times a a week (Gillespie)

64 The percentage of high-frequency wine drinkers who buy wine after tasting it, at both stores and winery tasting rooms (Gillespie)

68 million The number of cases consumed in restaurants and bars last year; retail stores sold 292 million cases (Gordon)

Cascio6 The number of wholesalers that control 60 percent of U.S. wine distribution (Cascio, at left)

54 percent of high-frequency drinkers in the Baby Boomer generation who spend $1,000 to $5,000 a year on wine; for Gen X, it’s 49 percent, for Millennials 43 percent (Gillespie)

56 The number of U.S. wineries making 500,000 or more cases a year, accounting for 83 percent of the nation’s production; 2,828 wineries making fewer than 1,000 cases account for 0.4 percent of the production (Gordon)

6.32 The sales-growth percentage from the year ending last Sept. 30; in 2007, that figure was 22.3 percent (McMillan)

• Because high-end wines are in limited supply, there is no downward pressure on prices (McMillan)

• The biggest influence on high-frequency wine drinkers is a recommendation from a wine-knowledgeable Gillespiefriend, followed by a recommendation from a wine-shop staffer, a recommendation from a sommelier and then recommendations from (in order) the Wine Spectator, the Wine Enthusiast and Wine Advocate (Gillespie)

•  Members of Generation X spend a higher proportion of their income on wine than Baby Boomers or Millennials (McMillan)

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